Plan to reduce Calgary sprawl will save money, says report
A controversial Calgary land-use plan would save $11 billion in infrastructure costs, according to an analysis released Friday, but developers say the anti-sprawl plan would make it more expensive to buy a home.
Calgary is predicted to grow by 1.3 million people over the next six decades and almost all of that growth is expected to happen at the edge of the city.
City officials released a cost analysis Friday of the Plan It Calgary proposal, which would see about half of that growth move to existing inner-city communities, curbing urban sprawl and the number of cars on the road.
The cost of implementing the plan — building infrastructure such as roads, parks, and pipes — would be $23.3 billion, according to the report by IBI Group. But "business as usual" would cost more even more: $34 billion.
That's because existing infrastructure can be used if sprawl is reduced, said Plan It Calgary spokesman Don Mulligan. The proposal would also involve much less land.
"The difference between these two plans is 250 square kilometres, about four Red Deers in terms of area," he said.
Land developers are not as enthusiastic.
Dennis Little of the Canadian Homebuilders' Association and chairman of the Plan It Calgary Response Committee said developers aren't against higher density, but Calgary doesn't have enough land in the inner city to make the plan work.
"If you restrict the supply, prices go up. It's an aggressive market intervention we believe doesn't serve well the citizens of Calgary," he said.
The public has until April 17 to comment on the Plan It Calgary proposal. City council is expected to vote on the plan in June.