The Stop Overdevelopment signs are desperately trying to ensure that tomorrow’s community looks identical to yesterday’s. Those signs should be replaced by signs saying Continue Underdevelopment.
I’ve lived in Oak Bay for 38 years. Our population is essentially the same as it was in 1978. There are certainly more cars, more houses and probably 20 per cent more residential floorspace. But there are no more people, yet I’ll bet that we now have twice as many toilets in the municipality. Go figure. Perhaps we have figured out how to simultaneously go in more than one place at any given time.
Our perceptions are driven by what we see. More cars and bigger houses. Those facts tell our brains that there must be correspondingly more people. Wrong conclusion. We have an ageing but static population occupying an ever increasing amount of residential floorspace. So much for any efficiency measure.
At the rate we are going Nirvana will be reached when we have just one person per household. We need to embrace creative infill in our residential areas. We should entertain duplexing on large corner lots, more suites in houses and using good design to accommodate more residents especially on larger lots. We should be more interested in increasing the number of residents per square kilometre rather than just increasing the amount of residential floorspace contained in it. The goal should be to increase residential density, not decrease it.