Comment 47249

By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted September 05, 2010 at 11:59:26

"Unfortunately what people don't get is that a one building alone does not solve a city's problems. A city is about people -- where they can work, live, shop, how they can move around, where they want to go, what services are where, and so on."

I think a lot of people DO get that. And that is precisely what this debate has been about. While ONE attraction won't "solve the city's problems", a lot of them in close proximity to each other probably will. At the very least, it won't make them worse.

"Downtowns" have traditionally been where attractions are concentrated in order to get the "critical mass" that allows them to exist in the first place. Each aspect of that critical mass, to quote the above, "people, where they can work, live, shop, how they can move around, where they want to go, what services are where" feeds off and promotes the other.

The decentralization of attractions, especially "singular" ones like stadia, stops that synergy in its tracks.

Copps Collisem is frequently used as an example that a stadium won't help the downtown. Does anybody really believe that Hamilton's downtown would be BETTER without Copps? Is it better without anchor stores in Jackson Square? What about thousands of workers in the Stelco Tower?

Certainly Hamilton's history should show us that decentralizing large "attractions" such as Lime Ridge, the Meadowlands etecetera has simply sucked the life out of downtown. The fact that the downtown has degraded almost in lockstep with the "suburban" development of shopping opportunities is no co-incidence.

Taking another attraction and putting it on the East Mountain or in Confederation Park only steepens the slope.

As the Mayor of Indianapolis so wisely put it, "you can't be a suburb of nothing".

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