Regarding “the future lives here,” my future doesn’t live in Surrey.
In fact, finding a place to live outside of Surrey will be one of my first priorities after graduating early from secondary school this winter.
There are simply more reasons to go than to stay. Choosing to live in an area of Vancouver, Burnaby or Richmond will allow me to live closer to everything I will need to maintain an affordable and productive lifestyle.
I regularly hear from friends who have taken this path. They love their new homes for many reasons, like: closer/better employment opportunities, improved safety and a better ability to get around by transit.
I want to see communities that are truly safe, sustainable, livable, affordable and well-connected with competitive and reliable rapid transit. I do not see such communities in Surrey.
The city’s current growth planning strategies – i.e. the continued buildup of far-from-transit, far-from-everything sprawl communities in Grandview Heights, Anniedale, Port Kells and other locations – can largely be blamed for this lack. The current and future citizens of these communities are not going to get what they need.
While wildlife habitats in forest areas are being destroyed for these communities, there are several empty grass-field lots sitting in the middle of the urbanized, developed areas in Surrey that have the most potential and already-existing access to services and decent transportation. What about those?
I am confident that, despite the challenging population growth Surrey is expected to receive, the right planning decisions can be made towards the achievement of true livability in Surrey. However, until those decisions are actually made, effort is improved and I see results, I would like to encourage young and aspiring students of this city looking to live sustainable, affordable and productive future lives to follow me “across the river.”
If Surrey wants to be known for its tagline, “the future lives here”, and become a place where families can truly come to live together while allowing for every individual’s goals and needs to be met, then the citizens will need reasons to stay.
They will need safe, complete and livable communities.
Daryl Dela Cruz, Surrey