Continuations: The Way Ahead
Today’s morning’s mail included an announcement from the transportation planners in our regional municipality. They are beginning work on a rapid transit initiative that will link the core areas of the region’s three cities and they have proposed a set of terms of reference for the assessment required under provincial and federal law. On the surface the document is unremarkable. It outlines the general boundaries of the anticipated corridor, promises to describe the existing environment and to examine broad alternatives as well as alternative technologies and routes, and anticipates extensive consultation with potentially affected citizens and other interested parties (RMW, 2005). All of these are standard contents. But on page 25 the ground shifts. Exhibit 10 sets out the core decision criteria – the ones to be used in assessing the alternatives (see Appendix 2, ﬁnal entry) – and none of them are about merely mitigating the most signiﬁcant negative effects. Instead, there are 6 goals and 15 criteria drawn largely from the region’s broader Growth Management Strategy exercise. While the goals and criteria are not categorized or organized in the way favoured in this book, they are nearly as comprehensive. Most of them are about positive contributions and they are clearly intended to cover the full range of considerations that should matter in the choices to be made. The region’s planners are undertaking a sustainability assessment.