More walkable communities add to affordability

Living beyond our needs a problem in western society

Re: Cost of living weighs heavily on Greater Victoria residents (vicnews.com)

On Tuesday, housing affordability and the inherent cost of living were identified as top concerns of residents of the Capital Region.

However, this region is not unique in identifying this concern in North America. Many individuals and governments are missing out on opportunities to reduce their respective operating costs.

One of the most overlooked aspects of why we have so much debt is our desire to have the suburban lifestyle with two or more cars. With urban sprawl we have created a situation where we need to drive to conduct our daily activities. A recent StatsCan report indicated that in Canada we spend 18 per cent of our disposable income just on transportation and a further 30 per cent on housing that often exceeds our size needs.

What if we lived in more compact communities with higher density, had more affordable transportation and lived in domiciles that match the size of our families and needs. This is the norm in Europe and Asia, where they spend much less on moving goods, services and people.

The International Association of Public Transport indicates that in European and Asian countries, five to eight per cent of GDP is spent on transportation, respectively. We spend 13 per cent in North America.

Average household debt in Canada hit a new high of almost 170 per cent of disposable income in 2012, a sizeable jump from 150 per cent in 2010, StatsCan reported.

Former Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney also warned about the dangers that household debt poses to the economy going forward.

We can improve our economic and physical health by creating more compact walkable communities. The choice is ours.

Avi Ickovich

Langford

Just Posted

Victoria teen killed on field trip near Sooke

Second youth also injured in falling tree incident at Camp Barnard

Oak Bay double murder trial: Blood splatter analyst says no shoe prints found in unit

RCMP analyst testifies to smears, fingermarks, ‘swipe and wipe’ patterns around apartment

Scorpion gives birth at Victoria Bug Zoo after hitching ride in woman’s luggage

A Vancouver woman inadvertently brought the animal home from a trip to Cuba

Victoria police hand out Civic Service Awards

June 24 awards include recognition for help on days-long fire, cannabis robbery, volunteer service

Man accused of Brentwood Bay murder appears in court

Alan Chapman tells judge he wants next court appearance to be “as far away as possible”

VIDEO: ‘Avengers: Endgame’ to be re-released with new footage

‘Avatar’ holds global box office record at $2.788 billion, while ‘Endgame’ stands at $2.743 billion…

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of June 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you support the government’s decision to approve the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion?

The federal government announced Tuesday its approval for the Trans Mountain pipeline… Continue reading

Elias Pettersson wins Calder Trophy as NHL’s top rookie

Vancouver forward first Canuck to win award since Pavel Bure in 1992

FVRD chair calls B.C. incineration plan for Philippines waste ‘disturbing’

Metro Vancouver ‘uniquely capable’ of safely disposing of waste coming back to Canada, say officials

VIDEO: Acknowledging skeptics, finance minister vows to build Trans Mountain project

Bill Morneau said he recognizes ‘huge amount of anxiety’ in Calgary over future of oil and gas sector

Shovels could be in the ground on Trans Mountain by September, CEO says

Ian Anderson points to weeks likely required for NEB to reinstate 2016 regulatory record

RCMP allows officers to grow beards

Members can now wear beards and goatees, as long as they’re neatly groomed

Girl, 10, poisoned by carbon monoxide at B.C. campsite could soon return home

Lucille Beaurain died and daughter Micaela Walton, 10, was rushed to B.C. Children’s Hospital on May 18

Most Read