This Just In: Urban Sprawl Sucks!



Urban Sprawl is the bane of Edmonton’s existence. I wrote a letter to my councillors and mayor on the subject. I invite you to do the same.

Mayor Stephen Mandel

City of Edmonton

November 14, 2009

Re: Municipal Development Plan

Dear Mayor Mandel,

I was disappointed to hear about the contents of the Municipal Development Plan as reported by Scott McKeen in the Edmonton Journal on November 13. Specifically, I am very much against city council’s plan to greatly increase urban sprawl by allowing 75 percent of future growth to occur in new subdivisions in and around the outer ring road (Henday Drive).

Urban sprawl is a net financial drag on a city in the long run, especially compared to that same development being conducted within the currently developed area of said city. Therefore, by allowing new sprawl, city council is wasting taxpayers’ money.

It is especially frustrating that this inefficient use of money creates neighbourhoods that do not enhance the city culturally or aesthetically, and lock people into long-term patterns of living that are unhealthy and environmentally unfriendly. Furthermore, every time council approves a new neighbourhood, it weakens mine and reduces the services that my community receives.

I believe that, instead of living in fear that outlying municipalities will attract new citizens who want to live in the suburbs, Edmonton should market itself as an efficient, livable, walkable city with excellent transit and infrastructure. If that kind of city isn’t worth living in for some people because it does not have a dozen new suburban neighbourhoods for them to choose from, by all means let them waste another city’s money. Let another city run empty buses through their neighbourhoods and try to finance the repair of its sprawled out infrastructure.

I strongly urge you to push for zero percent new sprawl in our city. Let us boldly embrace our city’s developed limits as they stand today. We have dozens of neighbourhoods with room for hundreds of thousands of new citizens within our currently developed boundaries.

These neighbourhoods will only be beautiful, attractive, properly-serviced, healthy places with well-kept infrastructure if we stop urban sprawl in Edmonton immediately.


Conrad Nobert


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Well said, Conrad. Thank you.

The old City Airport property could be such a fantastic opportunity -- a perfect site for an appropriate density mixed-use urban neighborhood, just a short LRT ride to downtown, government, and university.
If we could get someone of vision into a position of power, just think what a leader in New Urbanism and sustainable living Edmonton could become.

Just drove into the city after a two year absence. Always work my way through the city on my way to Fort Saskatchewan. What is happening on the Manning Hwy is just insane! Seems like they just keep bulldozing and just keep building. And I have to say the stuff they are putting up looks like typical building-boom crap. Not surprising I just read an article about shoddy building practises duding this current craze. They landscape around Edmonton is beautiful; rolling hills, woods, marshland...
Seems that land is not looked at as a precious resource as it it out in the Vancouver area, where I am from. Great job on this blog. Hope more people become truly aware about the cost of sprawl. One day it will come back and haunt everyone....look at the sun-belt in the US.

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