It cost $6 million for research and compilation, but there are some people in this city who think the document known as Plan It Calgary was a waste of money.

"I think there's a planner's view of what a city should look like," said Richard Gotfried, vice president of Trico Homes, "and it's not consistent with the citizens' view, which we know very much favours single family homes in the suburbs."

Plan It Calgary takes the opposite tack, and suggests the city should expand housing and transportation density in the downtown core and inner suburbs. But a widely published urban economist says it won't work.

"You've got a million people here," said Randal O'Toole of Washington's CATO Institute, "and they have a million different desires, a million different goals and objectives. And planners can't deal with that kind of complexity, so they simplify and they follow fads."

O'Toole said central core expansion has been tried without success in several European and American cities, "so why would it work here in Calgary?"

Ald. Joe Connelly appeared to agree.


"There must be value in that document somehow. We need to pull it out and show Calgarians we got value for that $6 million, because right now I don't see it."

Ald. Andre Chabot wasn't as directly critical of Plan It Calgary, but on the other hand he's not completely on side, either.


"I don't believe in scrapping Plan It Calgary altogether, but I do think modifications in the plan are warranted."

Plan It Calgary is now posted on the City of Calgary website, and the public is being asked to contribute its opinions about the proposal.