The efficiency argument

Allan Duffy argues that the development proposed for New Tecumseth makes sense because:

  • schools, employment areas and community facilities can be better situated in areas that are comprehensively planned from the start, rather than evolving incrementally;
  • comprehensive planning for larger future populations permits sufficient provision of hard and soft infrastructure capacity, avoiding the need to retrofit later on;
  • greenfield development permits a more efficient response to large-scale immigration-fuelled demand for housing and employment, because existing settlements are underbuilt and possess decaying infrastructure.

At the regional scale, Duffy's logic leaves aside the fact that a focus on the efficiencies of greenfield development ignores the efficiency gains of in-fill development and does nothing to solve the problem of disinvestment in existing urban infrastructure; in fact, it exacerbates it.