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HomePolicy Articles Article Summary

3000 Acres of Phony Demand: Consideration on Waverly West

Report by Kate Sjoberg

Kate Sjoberg writes this brief paper in response to the approval, by the City of Winnipeg, of the Waverly West suburb development. Sjoberg is concerned the expensive building project is fiscally irresponsible and developmentally detrimental to Winnipeg, and Manitoba. Sjoberg contends the large project was deemed justified in that it was advanced as a response to the City’s rising population. Though Sjoberg acknowledges there is population growth in Winnipeg, she questions whether this response was appropriate. She subsequently examines the arguments for the project, using the developer’s consultation data as well as City of Winnipeg’s research to support her findings.

Overall, Sjoberg finds the factors which contributed to the approval of the development were exaggerated. Specifically, she examines both the population growth argument and the contention that household size in Winnipeg is decreasing. (Sjoberg suggests that as the average number of people living under the same roof decreases, demand for housing increases.) She concludes that Waverly West is not the most effective way to meet Winnipeg’s housing needs; rather, she sees it as a profitable option for the project’s developers. Sjoberg cites the Waverly West project as an example of unsustainable development in Winnipeg. Accordingly, she proposes more sustainable alternatives that include rezoning unused industrial lots, developing greenfield lots (“larger parcels usually containing four or more acres of vacant land”) within the city, and improving inner-city infrastructure, rather than increasing the need for additional infrastructure outside city limits.

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Policy Publication Details

Author(s): Kate Sjoberg;
Publisher: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives [ Visit Website ]
Year Published: 2005; Publisher Type: Research Institute
Publicly Available: Yes Research Focus: Municipal;
Registration Required: No Language: English
Payment Required: No Publication Format: Adobe PDF

Subjects / Categories:

Policy Articles / Cities & Communities / Urban Planning
Policy Articles / Cities & Communities / Urban Planning / 2005
Policy Articles / Cities & Communities

Keywords / Tags:

Winnipeg; Manitoba; Waverly West; Urban development; Urban Planning; Sustainable development; Suburbs; population growth; household size; Urban sprawl; inner city; housing demand; low income housing;