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University of Regina students present urban density findings

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On Thursday, several University of Regina (U of R) students presented their final projects on urban sprawl, a topic that was heavily debated at Wednesday’s city council meeting.

The students spent the semester learning the ins and outs of urban density, and explained that the sentiment of neighbourhood character can be a barrier for solving the housing crisis. 

“Single detached housing just cannot be a determinant for character. As soon as neighbourhood character is utilized in a way that excludes certain people on the basis of income or any other demographic, it’s just outside the purview of zoning,” Jessie Sueck, a U of R geography student said.

Those on city council voted in favour of the plan, citing a need for housing that outweighs the concerns of neighbourhoods in a motion that passed 6-4

“One of the biggest issues that Regina has been seeing recently is that we’ve had a lot of urban sprawl, and I think one of the reasons might be the geographic makeup of Saskatchewan. It’s very flat, we don’t have natural boundaries around us, so it’s hard to contain the population growth and development within the city,” Reeja Gillani, a U of R geography student said. 

As Regina has decided to participate in the federal government’s Housing Accelerator Fund, city council heard from delegates who were not in favour of the changes this may bring to their communities, including an increase in maximum building height to six stories.

“Having disagreements is one of the biggest problems in planning. We can’t always have people on the same page, but I also think we can overcome that barrier by having better communication," Gillani said.

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