By Nick Tomkin
Published July 30, 2010
A few years ago, the place where I work decided to resurface the west wall of the building we work in. After the wall had been completed, the whole streetscape had changed. It was brighter, cleaner and warmer.
While various business people in the community would comment on how much nicer it looked, I could never get over the thought that vandals would soon come and murder our tall, wide, mighty wall with tags and other forms of artless fizzes of paint.
4 years will have gone by this month and not one signia is to be found.
I started to wonder how this could be. Could a tagger really pass up this huge, untouched canvas so easily? Could they just walk past knowing they are passing up precious local fame in the splatterous signature community?
So far, the answer has been a resounding yes. Amidst a fury of tagging that has gone on in Hamilton, our brown wall of tagless integrity stands without so much as a "Donny wuz here".
It eventually came to me. The reason for this is incredibly simple: Eyes.
Within viewable distance of our building is a condo full of people, an art centre, shoppes, restaurants and meeting centres.
Businesses help regulate crime and any dreaded tagging during the day. The people who live in the condos continue this transparent protective barrier during the night.
More eyes. Less crime. Less crime? More people! A very simple concept, indeed.
Now imagine our future stadium being built at the West Harbour site, in the middle of a desperate area which begs for redevelopment. More eyes. Less crime. A resounding mutual benefit not just for the West Harbour community, but for the city as a whole. Remember that Hamilton has a rather sticky self-image.
The decision on where to place our stadium shouldn't be based on how well the stadium will do, but how well we all benefit from the stadium.
The aftermath of selecting the West Harbour and correctly building a people-friendly atmosphere will make the stadium manageable and exposed to the exponential positivity of the network effect that binds services and people together.
A West Harbour stadium means a safer downtown. More people means more eyes. It is really that simple.
This was first posted on Nick's personal website.
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