Comment 17912

By CityJoe (anonymous) | Posted February 01, 2008 at 19:16:40

Quoting Ben:

"Cultural clusters can be great for the city as a whole and, as I mentioned on my last post I think it is hard to plan for this. As you say, neighbourhoods evolve."

Yes, & often it's a lot faster than anybody can plan for.

I disagree with your assertion that neighbourhoods will always be one thing or another. Measures such as:
- ensuring there is a good range of family housing and a good proportion of high end and affordable housing, and
- maintaining a good range of ameneties close to the area
will do a lot to ensure the neighbourhood resists the fluctuations imposed on it by economic and societal trends."

What I'm saying is everyone seems to have a different definition of 'Neighbourhood' & sadly that often goes along with what makes the author of the definition appear in the best light. If you want to eliminate a problem, cut it out of the equation. What was once considered 'part of this neighbourhood' is now not part of it, & somebody else's problem. (Governments often change political boundaries, & I'm sure this works to their advantage at the ballot box. It also insures a more homogenious vote. Majority of rich, middle class, poor, or a specific ethnic group that will be predictable in their voting patterns. (Ie: Dundas, Ancaster, etc.& later Westdale was added to the riding.)

When we enter a run down neighbourhood, do you ever hear anybody say, "What this neighbourhood could use is more diversity? We need more old white rich people here!" ('Cuz we know that probably won't happen, unless gentrification happens & then, "There goes the neighbourhood!")

"In Toronto they are looking at mandating a minimum number of affordable units into every condo development. It's measures like these that will bring intergration right into the heart of the neighbourhood (as opposed to the perimiters as you alluded to in your post)."

But affordable to whom? 'Affordable' is as nebulous as 'neighbourhood', & even more negotiable. Most affordable units are not within the reach of single parents,or minimum wage earners. The developers get the last say in what to charge for these units, do they not?
(This is why developers are of no use in assistance to the very poor, & the homeless. They just keep ending up in ghettos of one sort or another, if they find adequate housing at all.)

You CAN encourage the creation of healthy mixed neighbourhoods through sensible 'macro' planning measures. Of course this will not create a utopia, there will always be other factors which come into play, but if we stop building massive affordable housing and detached home clusters and start integrating our neighbourhoods a little more we will see the benefits.

I completely agree. Most neighbourhoods begin like this until they are tampered with by time & politicians.
Massive 30 story affordable units are rediculous. Who wants to house small children in there? The elderly, or the handicapped cannot escape or cope with emergencies (fire), power or water outages. Low rise row housing is probably better for all these groups, but nobody wants to do that.

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