Toronto needs a holistic, dramatic new vision: Ken Greenberg’s Big Idea
As Toronto undergoes an extraordinary transformation, it’s more important than ever to understand how all of the city's issues are interconnected.
What if . . .we could see the big picture? Toronto is experiencing growing pains as we go through an extraordinary transformation. We have failed for decades to make the serious investments in public transit and hard and soft services that are urgently needed to accommodate growth.
But what if we saw addressing this gap as an opportunity to make the inevitable shift from an unsustainable way of life to a more sustainable one? What if we could appreciate how everything is connected, that it is not about how we address a single issue — jobs, housing, mobility, climate change or public health — but how we do everything? What if we embraced the new paradigm for sustainable economic development that emphasizes quality of life and “place”? What if we had a larger inclusive vision for our city?
How would your big idea transform the city?
We will get more for scarce resources and make better judgments about what to do with the Gardiner, the Island Airport or how to accelerate investment in mobility alternatives. We will overcome many of the false dichotomies that divide us. We will see that it is possible to grow greener while getting denser, become more prosperous while getting less polarized. We will become a humane and equitable city known not just for its ability to absorb people from around the globe but for its quality of life for all its citizens. We will restore a measure of civility to public discourse by taking off the narrow blinkers that reduce complex issues to sound bites. We will tap the extraordinary energy and resourcefulness of civil society and the shared intuitive understanding of what makes a great city.
How much would your idea cost?
In fact there are immense savings to be realized through “efficiencies” and resourcefulness when we acknowledge that everything is connected, that every chess piece we play contributes to the larger game and that single moves can address multiple problems.