Comment 79318

By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted July 07, 2012 at 11:49:27 in reply to Comment 79316

Great comment. Glad to see this kind of response to a substantive effort such as Ryan's here. (And in The Spec today.)

The first is the obvious one detailed here: politics. Municipal politicians have their campaigns funded by developers. The most expensive input for the product developers build is land. So they prefer unserviced greenfields to fully serviced downtown land and the role of council has developed to assist land speculators in winning their bets rather than best representing the city as a whole (and this is true of most municipalities). The fact that one councillor would suggest the money could better be spent on roads bears this out. Roads open up new greenfield development.

Absatively. And there's little to complain about re: the status quo as long as it's passively allowed to be sustained.

The second is amalgamation. It only requires a cursory look at the Hamilton ward map to show the downtown wards represent a clear minority on council. So when it comes to directing dollars away from sprawl to urban renewal ... well, good luck. It also explains, in part, the failure of two way conversion (note the two way conversion has been north/south and not east/west) and the foot dragging on transit initiatives.

Again, yeah. As for the 'Good luck', I get your cynicism, but considering that very little has actually been mustered over the years against this default, I can actually shift the cynicism to optimism.

The third is that businesses have concluded they need not service communities as in the past. Economies of scale demands local, smaller, neighbourhood based outlets be closed in favour of big box model outlets. And people--or consumers if you prefer--will get in their cars and expend their own resources for the same services to which they could once walk. So, it is not just grocery stores, but also banks and almost any other retail amenity you could name.

Once more, yes. There's no question that for the majors, what you're saying is their truth. But a) this means that unless we can find a way to leverage one into Jackson Square/City Centre, we're best to focus on a homegrown approach (co-op) and b) I have to wonder that if we hadn't seen the decline of Jackson Square, if the entire downtown-core had been better managed, were it still shining, would this issue seem like such pie-in-the-sky?

Overcoming these challenges is going to require something greater than the isolated struggles of urban activists fighting the same battles in different cities all over North America.

Finally, yes. 'Urban activists' in Hamilton comprise a very, very small number. Even those aligned with them don't amount to much. These battles will change only when we're able to properly muster the numbers that reflect the fact that Council works for us, that we're the Employers and they're the Employees. Until we accept our responsibilities, our authority, we'll see these situations unfolding again and again and again. (Next up? AEGD.)

Comment edited by mystoneycreek on 2012-07-07 11:50:00

Permalink | Context

Events Calendar

There are no upcoming events right now.
Why not post one?

Recent Articles

Article Archives

Blog Archives

Site Tools