TransitionKW and the Transition Towns movement believe in vibrant cities where local living is made easy. It should be easy in a transition town to walk to local businesses to shop for local products and foods. We believe that easy access to mass-transit systems, walking and bike paths is key to building more sustainable and resilient communities. Furthermore it should be possible to grow food both in the city and near the city to cut down on energy use.
The Region of Waterloo has spent the last decade planning how to ensure that the Region can continue to grow in a sustainable and resilient way. They have six goals that relate to this, and they all are in line with what TransitionKW believes as well. The problem is that when the Region’s Plan was challenged by a group of developers the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) ruled in favour of the developers! Smart Growth Waterloo Region has organized to support the Region in its appeal to the divisional court and TransitionKW stands with them.
Ultimately the Region of Waterloo should be allowed to grow in such a way that benefits the community and safeguards its future. Limiting the development of agricultural and natural lands is essential to this. Working to foster the growth of cities that encourage lower-impact lifestyles will help the Region of Waterloo to thrive in the future and make it a more desirable place to live, regardless of the ways in which peak-oil and climate change affect our community.
As citizens of the Region of Waterloo it is very important that we speak out in support of the Region of Waterloo and its planners, who are our representatives. Smart Growth Waterloo Region provides many links and resources making it easy to be more informed and proactive about getting involved and making our voices heard.
About the author: Jon Spee is a stay-at-home dad who has made the commitment to live a more local and sustainable lifestyle. He does so by biking to most errands and activities with his two boys and by eating local and growing his own food.