Comment 38432

By jason (registered) | Posted February 24, 2010 at 12:06:03

thanks for the well-informed comments Andrew.

I think the Manchester example is a great one to bring up and it's what I hope to see Hamilton work towards. The Eastlands development was a massive brownfield area that Manchester recognized would likely never be cleaned up without a massive games event such as Olympics or Commonwealth Games.
They intentionally clustered their various sports facilities into this area as a means of easy access to various sporting events and facilities for residents and visitors to Manchester.

A new LRT station is due to open in 2 years in the eastlands sports district making travel to the area very simple.

As you can see, simply substitute 'Hamilton' for 'Manchester' so far and it perfectly describes the massive west harbour area and it's proximity to existing attractions and is an area that is already a massive draw for athletic and fitness conscious people with the thousands of cyclists, joggers and rollerbladers found in the area every year.

If we don't clean up these massive brownfields now, we probably never will get the chance to. Hamilton is a compact city. It is very common for folks from Stoney Creek or Ancaster to come to the west harbour for a stroll along the water or a coffee at Williams. Ditto for folks coming into the area for shows at Copps/Hamilton Place etc..... nobody is suggesting a far removed location such as the airport, which would be extremely inaccessible for most residents in the Hamilton/GHA.

I agree with you that a health centre, exercise/fitness/cycling centre needs to be a main part of the long term plans for the velodrome. Sure, concerts or other special events will take place, but athletics and sports should be a mainstay for this project.

As you can see, the Eastlands district has become an urbanized area with hotels, pubs, restaurants, cafes and many sports facilities highlighted by the City of Manchester Stadium.
If you read the various websites you'll find more info on paid parking, limited parking, special bus service to the area during busy events etc..... Manchester is a perfect model for us to learn from as we face this one-time opportunity to redevelop the west harbour brownfields into a vibrant urban district that will attract sports fans and regular citizens looking to enjoy time by a renewed waterfront with many shops and eating options that will be developed in the years ahead.


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