I'm getting dang sick of hearing about how the Century Group's design plans are examples of "new urbanism."
I know the debates have been hashed out in these pages for the better part of a year now, but no one seems to be addressing a fundamental critique of Century's plans on its own terms (or at least they don't make it in the papers).
New urbanism (densification, multi-use, etc.) comes from a need to revitalize downtown cores. When people fled the cities for suburbia, they created the development we know now as sprawl. Granted, Tsawwassen ain't your typical suburb and here's where I recognize what Century is trying to do by using elements (no low-income housing you'll notice, but that's maybe another story) of new urbanism to prevent sprawl.
OK, so this sounds all fine so far, and this is basically the gist of the argument for attracting people to fill the 950 units or whatever.
But in this instance the rhetoric of new urbanism is being hijacked to promote growth on agricultural land, when in fact, new urbanism was largely against sprawl because it cuts into productive farmland.
In short, new urbanist development is supposed to revitalize existing urban centres, and here we have Century using it to build housing on agricultural land.
Sounds backwards, if you ask me.