June 24th, 2024

Urban expansion needs to occur on marginal lands

By Lethbridge Herald on December 28, 2022.


Re: City growth.

Wendell Cox’s letter (Dec. 23) indicates that there is no more room to densify our cities and so we must expand outwards. The need to gobble up more land is probably debatable for many cities. 

If we accept that this may be true for some cities or municipal areas, then we can see he fails to point out that we should focus on where this expansion might reasonably take place.

Instead of building on and destroying wildlife habitat and productive agricultural land, urban expansion should occur on marginal lands in terms of natural landscape and productive farmlands. 

Unfortunately, as we can see from our recent history, we have a tendency to turn our productive farms into cities, and into mega cities in the process paving over the productive soils or have them erode away. 

Current governments seem not to have learned this lesson and continue to diminish the landscape that sustains us rather than work to maintain our lands for the long term. 

Short term solutions, no matter how damaging, it seems are easier to implement since they fit better with profit-driven quarterly cycles and short election cycles. The universe apparently revolves around the need to maintain one’s elected position than to balance that with future considerations of quality of life and environment. Voters unfortunately seem to be naive or simply too busy watching the antics of the latest celebrity to look about them and observe life (or diminishment of it) around them. And unfortunately, the media (social, not-so-social, mainstream, tabloid, etc.) are happy to oblige us with reporting on the trivial. 

This makes the life of a historian a bit easier as we keep doing the same thing. Kind of boring and sad at the same time – though probably easy answers on those multiple choice (don’t want to stress students and have them actually write out long answers) history exams.

Henry Komadowski


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a lot of insight on complicated matters, all packed into few words – very well stated.