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10-16-2012, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by EdTheSabresFan View Post
As to it being great to have a nice open green space. That extra 6KM of driving X however thousands of drivers probably damages the environment more than a few green spaces warrants.
It's not really about the environmental damage driving through green space causes, more about the fact that the space is still there.

There's no way we can argue about the size, shape, or identity of a hypothetical city like an Ottawa where the greenbelt had never existed, but even assuming the city had a similar population to its' current one, the folks in the current Kanata would likely still be there, since it was a planned community, and they would still be driving about the same distance, just not through green space.

In addition, although the CO2 absorption rate of plants is negligible in the large scheme of things, it still does a great deal to combat air pollution in major urban areas. To be missing a great swath of that plant life would mean that any hypothetical city without it would likely be in a far worse position than we are environmentally.

We would also be in a different position regarding our lakes and rivers, given the fact that stormwater runoff (caused by excess precipitation without proper absorption areas, causing water to acquire chemicals and pollutants from concrete and other impervious ground surfaces) is a huge issue in areas with little green space, and can cause elevated levels of pollutants and chemicals in our water sources, flooding, and health risks.

Sure, we might have lower-density housing, and shorter commute times (even that's debateable), but we'd also have lower quality of life, in my estimation.

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