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Business - Written by on Thursday, July 17, 2008 11:18 - 2 Comments

NIMBY Stops Powerplant, Saves Mississauga Lakefront

Yesterday, the Ontario Government announced that they wouldn’t be putting a gas-fired generator on a Mississauga Lakeview site after a citizen developed waterfront plan was enthusiastically endorsed by the Mississauga city council.

The site was home to a coal power plant until 2005, and was to be replaced by a gas-fired generator before the community led Lakeview Ratepayers Association stepped in. The 800 member group came up with a plan that called for a 200 hectare mixed use community with medium-rise buildings, residential, employment and educational sites, and a “destination” waterfront area devoted to trails, parks, an aquarium or stadium, and a pier with entertainment and educational features.

This amazing feat brings the “not in my backyard” (NIMBY) opposition to a new level. Will Dick wrote about direct democracy last week. In a world like that, how is the NIMBY problem solved? NIMBY relegates power plants, airports, and other high polluters farther and farther away from population centers where they are more useful. Even though high voltage AC transmission lines try to minimize energy loss when transporting electricity, they still lose about 20% per 1000 km.

Is this a loss we can deal with when giving citizens more power in planning their respective communities?

P.S. Sorry Wikinomics Report Card fans, I don’t have another entry this week, but if you missed my last entry on De Beers, you can find it here. The Report Card will return next week, better than ever!



2 Comments

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Alan Majer
Jul 17, 2008 13:56

I saw this too, but was disappointed to see that these public lands are going to development (medium rise) instead of a public use like a park. Wonderful to hear that some of it will be public lands, but even better, why not the entire plot?

How often do we have the opportunity to turn that much lakefront property into something the public can enjoy for generations to come? This city has a long history of development that takes place on public resources sold off to the highest bidder. It’d be nice to set aside this entire resource for future generations to enjoy.

Ben Letalik
Jul 17, 2008 15:15

Alan: I was a little worried too when I saw medium rise and residential going together. I’m not opposed to commercial space if its designated for restaurants or small businesses.

This project is significant as it sets a precedent for all waterfront development in the future.

Although not waterfront, I’m very curious to see what the city will do with the massive Downsview park where the Rolling Stones did the concert for SARS.

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