Thursday, April 11, 2013

Parkland Dedication Deputation April 9, 2013 by Karen Rea

Parkland Dedication Deputation April 9, 2013 by Karen Rea

There have been many studies comparing the health of people related to the green space that surrounds them. Many of us know intuitively that green space, parks, forests and trees make us feel better. They refresh and recharge our batteries, bringing peace and tranquility. It improves our wellbeing by reducing stress and fatigue and improving mental health and longevity.

The closer the green space is to our homes, the more benefit we derive from it. In fact, there’s a growing body of research on green spaces and their positive impacts on the health and wellness of children and communities. A classic study demonstrated that patients with views of trees vs. views of a brick wall had shorter hospitalizations, less need for painkillers, and fewer negative comments in the nurses' notes.
The percentage of green space inside a one kilometre and a three kilometre radius had a significant relation to perceived general health. The relation was generally present at all degrees of urbanity. The overall relation is somewhat stronger for lower socioeconomic groups. Elderly, youth, and secondary educated people in large cities seem to benefit more from presence of green areas in their living environment than other groups in large cities.

This is not hard, and the complicated math that is shown in the reports is not necessary.
The higher the building the more people, the more people the more parkland and green space is needed, not less. All builders charge a floor premium- the same unit on a higher floor is more money. Floor premiums range from $500 to $2000 per floor.

For example Greenpark, on Markham Rd is charging $1000 per floor after the 2nd floor.
So a unit on the 20th floor is essentially $18000 more than the same unit on the
2nd floor. Builders are charging more and making more- it doesn’t cost them anymore
money to build the same unit on a higher floor, yet they are asking us to give
them a discount.

It is interesting, that we are asking the developers for money to build an Arena,
and now the developers want a break on the development charges, I guess they
want to cut the costs somehow, even though all charges are passed on to the new
homeowner. Exemptions for retirement homes and affordable housing and non-profit is not
acceptable. Everyone needs green space and everyone has the right to have some
fresh air, and a place to relax, regardless of age.

Parkland is a high quality public realm that has a tremendous value for all
As citizens, residents, taxpayers of Markham, we urge city staff and the City
Council to not lower the required amount of parkland dedication required by
builders. We should be actively conserving, protecting, restoring, enhancing, and
expanding natural areas and green space for public enjoyment, community
health, and ecosystem resiliency.”

Karen Rea

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