Revitalization

Saving Main Street

By RTH Staff
Published March 22, 2005

Maggie Hughes just posted a wonderful opinion piece on Hamilton Indymedia.

She accompanies a short social history of the car with a summary of the recent presentation by Professor Pierre Filion on prospects for mid-sized cities:

If cities like Hamilton want to revitalize their downtown core, Dr Filion has three suggestions to break the cycle. Don't to waste more money on downtown malls, or more parking lots, trying to "suburbanize downtown" but rather to go back to what Main St. use to be. Small-specialized shops that would allow people living within two blocks to obtain all their needs both for survival and entertainment.

His theory - "find two blocks, (about half a mile of walking distance) and subsidize a retail market that would make living downtown attractive. Put in a sunset clause to end subsidies in ten years. You change the zoning, and clean up contaminated sites to allow for residential living, and you wait."

Ms. Hughes's piece is definitely worth reading in full.

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