Compact communities, affordable living

One of the most overlooked aspects of why we have so much debt is our desire to have the suburban lifestyle with two or more cars.

One of the most overlooked aspects of why we have so much debt is our desire to have the suburban lifestyle with two or more cars.

With urban sprawl we have created a situation where we need to drive to conduct our daily activities. A recent Stats Can report indicated that in Canada we spend 18 per cent of our disposable income just on transportation and a further 30 per cent on housing that usually exceeds our physical (size) needs.

What if we lived in more compact communities with higher density, had more affordable transportation, and lived in domiciles that match the size of our families and dependents and needs.

This is the norm in Europe and Asia where they spend much less on moving goods, services and people.

The International Association of Public Transport indicates that in European and Asian counties five to eight per cent of GDP is spent on transportation, we spend 13 per cent in North America.

A new Statistics Canada report released Dec. 13 shows Canadians keep taking on more debt even as they get poorer.

Average household debt in Canada hit a new record high of almost 153 per cent of disposable income in the third quarter, a sizable jump from 150.7 per cent the previous quarter, the agency reported.

As well, household net worth declined by 2.1 per cent to $180,100 from $184,700, the sharpest drop in almost three years as the value of pensions and stock investments declined.

The report came a day after Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney again warned about the dangers of household debt poses to the economy going forward.

Canadians are more indebted now than the Americans and British, Carney noted, saying that they need to move to bring debt accumulation in line with income growth, which is modest. Debt rose at about twice the pace of income during the last quarter.

We can improve our economic and physical health by creating more compact walkable communities. The choice is ours.

Avi Ickovich

Langford

 

 

Just Posted

Crews respond to near drowning at Thetis Lake

Man taken to hospital after calls come in of drowning in progress

PHOTOS: Thousands raised for cancer at second annual Gala for Hope

Victoria Fire Department’s fundraiser a success ahead of Ride to Conquer Cancer

Vet services for Victoria’s pets of the homeless cancelled for first time in a decade

Vets for Pets faces a volunteer shortage that’s forced the group to cancel its recent service

Wooldog among mysteries uncovered with powerful UVic microscope

Finding ‘Mutton,’ a dog lost in a Smithsonian drawer for 150 years

Optometrist pedals through depression, leads others for the cause

Ride Don’t Hide bike rides start, end at Windsor Park

Victoria Weekender: What’s happening this weekend, June 15-16

Car Free YYJ, a barber battle and an Outdoor Discovery Day

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Homalco tour gives glimpse into area’s ‘People, Land, Water’

First Nation business mixes cultural components with wildlife excursions

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Monkey spotted on late-night jaunt in Campbell River

Conservation officers also apparently looking for cougar in the area

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

Most Read