Comment 84074

By Sigma Cub (anonymous) | Posted December 18, 2012 at 09:25:09

IMHO, the ideological stance of City Hall is a distraction. The real issue is that they lack the funds and political will to attempt a project of the magnitude suggested. Which is not that grand at all, in the big picture, but let's not forget the way that the Great Bike lane debate unfolded. It's not hard to imagine complete streets enjoying a similar reception.

As I've suggested before, I think that there is a workaround right in front of us that would make pilot projects possible without having to endure the spanking machine of city council.

Walkability is wonderful but that walkability study was one of the least rigorous products to ever emerge from the CCS camp (which has arguably defaulted to statistical oversimplification in the RethinkRenewal era of EcDev/real estate consultancy).

Hamilton's most walkable communities are in downtown Hamilton. Downtown Hamilton boasts the most depressed real estate prices, relative to the norm, in the region. Creative industries are, for the most part, cash-strapped to the point of poverty (earlier CCS reports prove as much) and tend to favour affordable live/work space. Indeed, this is the thrust of Urbanicity's EcDev maketing collaboration, Urban Spaces. This is at least as relevant a selection criteria as walkability.

So too is the social clustering and promotional synergy. Ottawa North, James North, Locke South, Westdale, Downtown Dundas and so on feature two-way traffic, but they are also officially or unofficially BIAs. This profile creates a magnetic field for additional investment. Success begets success, and neighbourhoods decreed as hip by popular consensus (or marketed by the City as fertile ground for creative workers) wear that mark, for better or worse.

All of this is part of the algebra on why people decide to locate somewhere. There's considerable ambiguity around causality on this issue, certainly enough to inspire us to commission a real study or look abroad for verification. To my mind, by omitting all other sectors of the local economy, "Walkability and Economic Development" only succeeds in proving that the Chamber is familiar with the oeuvre of Richard Florida.

Permalink | Context

Events Calendar

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

Recent Articles

Article Archives

Blog Archives

Site Tools