Brian Doucet, associate professor in the School of Planning, writes in the Waterloo Region Record about the opportunities that the LRT can bring to Waterloo Region, and warns about the possible detriment that we must avoid in building within the transit corridor.
Professor Doucet says the nature of the project is unusual, saying, "Instead of building neighbourhoods and servicing them with transit, they're building transit and servicing it with neighbourhoods." He explains that this "represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get things right [for the Region]."
While Doucet agrees that "density is needed," he explains that we need "density with diversity," meaning that the LRT corridor should be a "live-work" environment for everyone, rather than being limited to the affluent. "Not everyone is a tech worker (though many are) and not every job along the LRT corridor is in the tech sector," Doucet explains. "We also need homes along the LRT for people who prepare meals, dispense drugs and stock groceries; this transit system was built with them in mind, too."
Put shortly, we must work to avoid such inequalities. "In Toronto, living within walking distance of a subway station is a luxury fewer and fewer in the GTA can afford; Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge is a long way off, but we have the chance to learn from those mistakes."