Douglas corridor a chance to make ‘visionary’ changes

The Douglas corridor, between Victoria’s core and Uptown, is arguably our region’s best place for a new community

 

The Douglas corridor, located between Victoria’s core and an emerging core around Uptown, is arguably our region’s best place for a new community. Mindful of this, I submitted a report to Saanich council highlighting advantages of co-operative corridor planning with Victoria and suggested planning around global and local sustainability, and quality of life and place.

Subsequently, at a meeting of Saanich and Victoria councils, I emphasized the huge advantages of such a process. To their credit, Saanich and Victoria staffs supported the concept. Reports recommending the joint initiative and a funding application were passed.

We can’t solve the looming climate change crisis alone, but our contribution along with other communities can make a difference. In the corridor, we have the opportunity to build a world-leading, energy efficient and nearly waste-free community.

Locally, we could build a community that meets humans’ needs while fitting harmoniously with natural systems.

The corridor contains the severely damaged Cecelia Creek watershed. Why not demonstrate how redevelopment can go hand in hand with a revitalized watershed? Also, putting residents in this ideal location could help address our growing transportation and traffic problems.

Quality of life and place could also benefit greatly from corridor redevelopment. These attributes are, obviously, very important to existing residents. They’re also important to our economic future. We need future investments of wealth, skill and talent – but so does everyone else. We’re in competition with virtually every global community. A sparkling new, sustainable, mixed-use Douglas corridor community could do much to make us a winner.

Ultimately, we have no choice but to carry out visionary planning for places like the corridor. The opportunities presented, and the cost of failure, are simply too great.

Vic Derman

Saanich councillor