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Views Part of Our Natural Capital

Apr 11, 2011

In regards to high rises on the waterfront, both economics and quality of life must be considered in the planning process. High rises block views, not just for home owners but for all the citizens of Nanaimo, and we all risk a reduced quality of life with a waterfront lined with high rises.


Anyone walking, driving or cycling in many parts of Nanaimo enjoys spectacular views of Nanaimo harbour and beyond. These views are part of our natural capital that increases our well-being by helping to wash away stress and by making us feel good—a benefit that is difficult to measure but that is invaluable.


Nanaimo boasts that it is one of the most desirable, livable small cities in North America. The Philips Center for Health and Well-being has identified authenticity as an important ingredient of a livable city. An authentic city creates a sense of pride and belonging, and reinforces a sense of place and local identity. The Philips Center also outlines practical steps towards a livable city, one of which is understanding and conserving natural capital. 


Along with boosting Nanaimo’s reputation with tourists, unobstructed views: have a strong connection to the city’s heritage; evoke pride in living in Nanaimo; reinforce a sense of place and belonging; and offer benefits to our overall health and well-being.


Views from downtown and the Stewart Avenue corridor are already obstructed in some places by high rises. Before further high rises of more than four storeys are approved, the City of Nanaimo should give weighty consideration to the importance of views to our natural capital and to the well-being of all people in Nanaimo. When seemingly frivolous but truly significant quality of life factors such as views are incorporated into local policy processes, they contribute to more effective governance and to a healthier, happier population.

- Brenda Piquette writes a very interesting blog called Touchy Subjects. Click on this link to see her latest offering.



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