Sprawlcast - The Rumble Over Rezoning in Calgary

A fantastic look at how and why the base land use needs shifting.

“the only thing I can guarantee you about your community is that it’s changing.”

“…inclusionary zoning or upzoning. It’s an element of the city’s housing strategy, which council approved in September of 2023.”

For the above - upzoning is one tool in addressing our housing crisis.

“We got way better [than if we hadn’t provided input], and understand that you’re going to have 300 nice new neighbors. And once you get to know them, you’re not going to see the building. And and that’s the truth, right?”

“The housing strategy is about the entirety of the housing continuum. That’s not why it’s just one action to do a rezoning. It’s about 90-plus actions to deal with everything from sheltering to deeply subsidized housing to every part of the market continuum.”

“All the previous measures have been, okay, let’s have some growth inward—but just in a few places. In some corridors, in some nodes, close to LRT stations. And that all seemed to be very reasonable. But what doesn’t really work—and we have seen it over more than a decade—is that doesn’t provide enough diversity. In the end, it doesn’t open up enough land for growth.”

“So what builders are doing is they’re clustering in places where there’s the least market risk, and that’s the premium neighborhoods. It is neighborhoods like Inglewood. It is neighborhoods like Altadore. It is neighborhoods like West Hillhurst where the land is more expensive, but there’s a proven and tested market.

And so what we think this change will allow is by taking away some of that regulatory time and risk and cost, and allowing more neighborhoods to have that opportunity, that peanut butter gets spread way more across a larger geography of the city. So it’s not just about building in Altadore or Inglewood. It’s about building in Acadia and Bowness and Dalhousie and Mayland Heights. And land costs in those areas are less.”

“For example, in 1920, just west of Inglewood in Victoria Park, white Calgarians fought city hall in an effort to keep black Calgarians out of the neighbourhood.”

“while many people aren’t arguing anymore for racialized segregation, by nature zoning is in itself class and economic segregation.”

Sprawlcast - The Rumble Over Rezoning in Calgary