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The End  of  Suburbia
The Solutions or Fixes
– A  New  Urban  Development Economy –


Tired of hearing about all the environmental  doom  and  gloom,  with little to nothing you can do about it? 
Now there is a plan to solve most of the problems that
the end of cheap oil will bring.

An important element of these solutions is it shows people the scale of the problem.
Understand the huge scale of what is coming our way is the hardest thing for most Canadians.
- BIG fixes for BIG problems -

The End of Suburbia, and the economy that supports it

This is a rough draft - Please excuse the fact I am not the best writer and these ideas need to be better presented. 
If you would like to help, contact me at   -  <donbar(at)>        
More will be added in next few weeks, so come back soon.

!!!!!!! It is also about JOBS FOR LIFE !!!!!!!

    This plan for a New Urban Development Economy deals with a coming future where we will not be able to carry on with our cheap oil economy that supports our current life style.  That means when the economy collapses (permanently), it will create mass unemployment and tens of thousands of families  suddenly will not being able to afford a home!  People will try to move back into urban centres to be closer to their work (if they still have a job), and where will they live?  Then there is the issue of a lack of mass transit to deal with huge increase local population.  A way to delivery services as cheap as possible.

    The proposals put forward as a part of the Continuous Communities concept has a number of aspects.  They deal with how to build in existing communities to create walkable communities and some are for how to build where there are unique opportunities in urban environments.  That do not use farmland!

*    Have you figured out how costly gas has to become before you can not afford to drive to and from work & own a home? 
      Remember when the cost of gas goes up, most everything else increase in cost as well.  Everything else you buy will also increase in price 5% to 10% or more. 
      If you can’t afford to drive to work how long would it take you to get to a transit point, in Canadian weather by bike or walking?

*     It was recently reported that Americans spent  3.7 billion hours in their cars last year!
     The greatest benefit addresses the greatest loss, that our current economy is mostly geared to housing starts and renovations, etc. and that will soon be
     unaffordable.  Too many people will be living too far from work and need to move back into urban centre BUT there will not be enough housing there for them.
     Also, thousands will be unemployed as they are trained to build subdivisions, which now people can’t afford to live in.  This plan solves most if not all these
     problems and more.

    Today most efforts at protecting the environment or changing the harmful aspects of our economy, at best make little changes, that will not overcome the grand damage being done daily by a world wide industrial economy devoted to destroying the environment we need to live with. 
We need to go big, really BIG, in order to make the changes big enough, to make a difference!

*      Do you want to protect the environment?  When the cheap oil economy collapses and mass unemployment with homelessness occurs, regard for protecting
        the environment will all but disappear.  Areas that are currently protected will cease to be, as it has been in the past.

    The beauty of this idea is that it does not matter if you believe if gas will become too costly or if there will be global warming or what is causing it - it is still the best way to create mass housing there is.   This is something that has to be done regardless of the reasons why.  It can be done anywhere in the world.  We have all the technology needed.  But we need to create an economic model to shift from the short term profiting from houses to the longer term profits in this kind of housing.

    The concept is the one with the greatest vision and chance for Canada to develop a profitable world class technology that the whole world needs.  This idea, properly presented to the public is most assured to gain not only their whole hearted support but also proves that their government truly has a 21 first century vision.  Where to build is the question and where is most logical?  Close to jobs or industrial areas is the most reasonable.  Next, close to public mass transit is a must to be reasonable, as well.  Thirdly, building dwellings that will attract people in high numbers to stop urban sprawl, that is literally kill people and their children.  This plan not only addresses homes but industry units.                   

This proposal includes & not limited to;

       In areas where there groups of apartment buildings, build office towers so work can be very close. 
        In fact apartment buildings and office towers should be link.  In a downtown business district, apartments should be built.

       Building apartment building beside industrial areas.

*        In the USA on-ramps that were not being used in a city were torn down and an apartment put up.

       Stacked industrial units or industrial towers, just like apartments.  Do away with the one story industrial malls that eat up far too much land.

*        Using  hydro corridors to install mass transit in cities that have not set land aside for it.

Large numbers of low cost housing,
within walking distance of work
mass transit is what everyone says we should build & now there is a plan;

    The concept is simple and for decades future planners have presented a version of this as the future so the public is no stranger to it. 
Build over existing highways and if it is done right, the companies that master this method of construction will be in the greatest demand world wide.  The vertical space over the 401 between say Hurontario St. and Kennedy Rd. is more than enough to put hundreds if not thousands of units even it is only ten stores high.  That stretch of highway is just used as an example as it has industrial areas on both side and other major highway links near by.  The idea of high density over highways can logically go just about any where there is a highway and close to industrial areas.   The 427 is used as another example below.

           Over highways is reasonable as government owns the land,
it protects farm land
and as highways will be less used as fewer people will be able to afford to drive,
they will have to evolve into something more useful in the future!

Some people may think my idea for dealing with this coming problem is not appropriate but Mr. Kunstler  notes
a great philosopher said new ideas are often greeted in three stages. 
First, they're ridiculed.   Second, they're violently opposed.    And finally they're accepted as self-evident.

    All levels of government Provincial, Federal and Municipal, would have to involved to start this change in development.  So if the public wants it they have to speak very loudly for it.  The means to finance this kind of housing to ultimately become an ongoing commercial enterprise would have to be created.  Methods to do this kind of construction would have to be developed and still allow for traffic to flow on the highways. 

    These apartments should be different from existing apartments commonly being built.  Some  should have more then one level and a balcony large enough to easily grow plants on.  The halls  need to be much wider so people can ride bikes and a large central air space that would create the feeling of a truly futuristic place to live.  There are other details, however the large central space is most important as it could be large enough to put places to eat or shop and grow plants to help keep the air clean.  Having a large central open space with a domed shylight roof create a wonderful living space.

    The outside of these building can have so many plantings on them or vines that they appear more as hills than apartment buildings.

Stacked industrial units;

    Stacked industrial units or industrial apartments is something that must be developed to stop this one level sprawl of industry.  In this case building over top of highway interchanges is used as the example.  Highway interchanges being somewhat round work very well for this as there should be an outer ring of units and inner core for offices.  The space between, would be a the large enclosed air space.  One key element of this design is that trucks could drive around the outside of the units up to whatever level the deliver needs to be made to.  To keep it all-weather some kind of transparent or semi-transparent skin would have to go up on the outer most side of the ramp.  It need not be build over a highway interchange but imagine how much land can be saved by 10 stories of stacked industrial units and the cost savings by not having to service spread out units. 

    Imagine stacked industrial units over two highway interchanges and the highway between them covered with the proposed apartments.  An entirely new industrial area and people living so close to work they need not drive.  Even if not built over highways, (maybe beside), the design has much promise.  If this does not say 21 first century then what does?  Most importantly imagine the long term building boom and jobs from these kinds of projects.  The economy will grow and the government will have the funds for things like health care and retirement pensions.
    Building where there is an existing focal point of transportation, hopeful including near by rail and hydro corridors for more transit to be build, is the most common sense approach, that the public would embrace as finally the government is getting it right!  We need to stop trying to make old methods work when we know they fall far short of what we need, we can and must do, not only for us but for future generations as well.

Another good idea on how to use urban space  OR   how to put transit lines into a city that did not set aside land for them;

    The use of hydro corridors or right of ways for above ground rail transit.  Hydro corridors are usually quite wide and run into industrial areas as well as crossing major road ways.  The route they take is often ideal for an above ground rail system plus it is as close as you can get to the power grid.  In the case of Mississauga, no lands were set aside for what a real city needs for be a properly functioning city, a rail transit line for mass public transit.  Not just to jobs in the City of Mississauga but to near by cities like Toronto.  If you look at a map of Mississauga, you can see a hydro corridor running the full width of the City just above the QEW.  The Queensway is apart of the corridor.  In this case Hydro is selling off some of these lands and a golden opportunity to link Mississauga to Toronto will be soon lost! 

    To turn Hydro corridors into rail/transit lines and serve both uses would be a challenge but one that would develop a technology that would be of great value to not just to Ontario's cities but throughout Canada and beyond.  Being able to make them sound proof enough for the residential areas they run through to accept them is one of the biggest challenges.  By enclosing them to a great degree they become more weather proof too.  In Montreal the subway runs on rubber tires which cuts down on the noise as well.  The City of Mississauga wants to turn Hydro corridors, being sold off into developments (sprawl), and what is a currently a green belt will be lost.  This way they can be saved and more hedges and shrubs planted as a natural means to sound proof.  A bike trail set along it, for those who wish to commute by bike along it.

One of the biggest soluations & fixes to the
urban sprawl that plagues us.

There are other methods.

The buildings between intersections can be apartments.  Built, say 20 stories high, can you imagine how many units can be  build along the length of a highway this way?

This kind of Continuous Community need not be built over highways.  
It could be over open land, etc.

At large intersections office towers or light industrial units can built or even a larger number of apartment units .

In this case the first section beyond the starting section is for heavy industry mostly to support building of this construction.  Or, to add to the industry in the existing area.

The starting point.
Using the area above a large highway intersection, an industrial centre is built close to 2 rail lines,
2 highways,
4 major roads.  Building where it is easy to move material in for on-going construction.

Building over a highway can also be for subway parking.
A subway station could be put where the 427 crosses the subway line and raised parking for many thousands of cars could be put there so they would not have to drive any further into Toronto.

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