One of my areas of interest for a number of years has been how to reduce the amount of pavement in a city and increase green space or usable space. One thing I would like to propose is that in the OCP the city set a target of 100 acres of paved city owned land to be converted to park or green space.
Where could the city find this land?
- Add to existing parks from road right of ways on the park borders, example Cook Street along Beacon Hill Park. Cook Street is much wider at this location than is needed for traffic. The street is over 15 metres wide and only needs to be 10 metres wide to serve the needs of the location. 5 metres for 500 metres along the park would add 2500 sq metres of area to the park, or more than half an acre.
- Remove paved areas within parks, example paved roads within Beacon Hill Park. There is no need to have a paved road to the top of Beacon Hill or to have all the roadways through the park going all the way through, Several more acres of green space could be added to Beacon Hill park through this.
- Create pocket parks on small through streets that could be cul de sacs – example Rithet Street at Menzies – block off the street at this location and make it a small community park with benches and a playground – 500 sq metres is available at this location with no impact to the street.
- Take wide street wide of ways and blouvards and create a function park space – example Cook Street from Fairfield to Fort – the street and right of way that belongs to the City is 30 metres wide. Given the volume of traffic, 13 metres for the right of way is more than enough. This leaves a strip 17 metres wide and 600 metres long that could be a linear park of close to 2.5 acres in size
There are many locations throughout the city that fit into one or another of these examples. It should not take a lot of work to know where it could be done and where it could not be done. Frankly the city should do research into how much land is owned by the city and is paved.