We’ve reached a critical moment in White Rock’s history – a time to change what it will look like and how livable it will be.
The growth of this “little town” has been startling in its rapidity since it was opened to major development, leading to progressive growth that has almost eliminated the look and feel of uptown and begun to change the face of some of our residential areas.
In the face of climate change, it comes down to whether we want White Rock to look like the west end of Vancouver – an environment where heat is exacerbated, reflected out and absorbed into a glass and concrete tower, requiring ever increasing use of technology to reduce the impact, whilst increasing the costs associated with such utilities.
Or do we want to preserve green spaces, tree canopies and natural landscapes – all of which absorb carbon, absorb moisture and help reduce ambient temperatures in their immediate area?
Do we want a White Rock that is brought to a standstill with traffic congestion, polluted with vehicle emissions and made noisier and more dangerous by the sheer volume of traffic on a system that was never intended to handle it?
We are getting close to that point now, which I can attest to, having witnessed it since I came here in 1993.
I do not expect any place to not change in that time frame, but I also do not accept that we need the type of buildings we have seen over the past 15 years, exhausting this city’s limited resources and causing the same societal issues we see in other towns and cities that have gone to the high-density model of accommodation – increased disorder, stress and loss of neighbourliness and personal safety.
It’s time to let developers know that we are not for sale and that we will pursue a much more guarded and imaginative way forward when it comes to what we build.
The future of White Rock is ours to imagine and act upon.
This upcoming election will cement further the actions that have already taken place before our eyes or will allow us to stop, consider and re-imagine the kind of place that we want for ourselves and for our families and our children.
Michael King, White Rock