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An example of city building doublethink

Earlier this month, Shane Dingman wrote a piece in the Globe and Mail talking about TAS’ proposed development for 2 Tecumseth Avenue here in Toronto – the former home of Quality Meat Packers, a slaughterhouse. In the article there’s a quote from Mazyar Mortazavi, which I posted to my Instagram (as a story), but that I have been meaning to also post to the blog. So here it is: 

“It’s not a conversation about towers good, towers bad: Mid-rise is the most expensive construction typology and it delivers effectively luxury housing, so it doesn’t respond to the needs of affordability,” he said. “We didn’t buy Tecumseth to build a bunch of condos and move on. We bought it because we wanted to pursue a vision around city building. You need density … the question is how do we actually deliver density that’s relevant today and relevant 50 years from now?”

He’s of course right about mid-rise construction costs. There are diseconomies of scale and other construction inefficiencies that we have talked about many times before on this blog. The result is one of the Catch-22s of city building. Mid-rise and small scale infill is often seen as desirable, but we also say that we need more affordable housing.

It’s doublethink.

Image: 2 Tecumseth by KPMB Architects for TAS

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