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Does Winnipeg have too much Green Space?

February 20, 2012

There is a City of Winnipeg report about selling golf courses that says so. 

The “report” was about assessing present municipal golf services however a portion of the report strays off topic to conclude that Winnipeg has too much green space. How was this determined?

images/userfiles/Audit.pdf

The reason why this statement is important is that it is used to justify the selling of golf courses/public green space. The golf report references a Pros Consulting “Draft Level Service Report,” December, 2009, pg 4 report as evidence that Winnipeg has too much green space but, upon request to City Administration, no copy of the report was available. I have contacted the author of the report used by the golf audit to support the claim that Winnipeg has too much green space and author indicated that no such report was done for Winnipeg. I contacted Golf Convergence, the author of the golf audit, for a copy of the report claiming that Winnipeg has too much green space and was informed that a copy was forwarded to The City of Winnipeg Auditor. I am in the process of obtaining the document. (will add report if/when I receive it) How does a City determine how much green space it has? Are the same criteria used to determine green space in one City the same as others? Do some Cities include riverbanks while others do not? Do some Cities include school grounds while others do not? How do you compare? There is a process called the Ontario Municipal CAO's Benchmarking Initiative (OMBI), which the City has recently used for comparing parking and library services to other Cities, and could be used in determining how much green space Winnipeg has comparable to other Cities.    images/userfiles/OMBI-2010-Performance-Benchmarking-Report.pdf    This process would provide comparable data that would allow The City of Winnipeg to compare the amount of green space it has versus other Cities in Canada.   The OMBI has presently reviewed the process in which benchmarking for green space can be done and outlined measures that can be taken to properly create usable benchmarks.  Therefore, lacking the proper evaluation of the golf report’s assertion that Winnipeg has too much green space, OMBI ability to properly provide comparable benchmarking and that the City has no internal review process, the only possible conclusion is that there is no evidence that Winnipeg has too much “green space”.  The present process of potentially selling green space for development therefore should cease immediately until such time as Council has properly assessed our green space and worked with the community to identity the proper use of these public lands.