Revitalization

Place-Making in Mississauga

By Ben Bull
Published November 05, 2008

The de-sprawling of Mississauga continues apace, now that the municipality has no place left to build. City planners are looking to retrofit some of the more ailing malls in the area - Sheridan, Meadowvale and Erin Mills, to name but a few - by removing parking, adding condos and integrating transit.

"That's the focus of a visioning exercise called Downtown 21," reports the Star, "that wants to reinvigorate the core area, including building smaller city blocks and doing away with surface parking - another staple suburban convenience.

[W]hat's generating excitement among planners is the idea of "community nodes" anchored by smaller, often tired shopping centres such as Meadowvale, Erin Mills, South Common and Sheridan, and at major intersections such as Dundas St. and Dixie Rd., that can become real "places" - just like Port Credit and Streetsville, established communities with their own vibrant street life.

In place of vast hectares of surface parking around the mall, these nodes would sprout six- to 12-storey buildings and a commercial presence at street level to encourage walking and use of transit. Surface parking would be mostly eliminated.

Here's hoping that Hamilton's open spaces get concreted over fast so that sensible city planning can begin here too.

Ben Bull lives in downtown Toronto. He's been working on a book of short stories for about 10 years now and hopes to be finished tomorrow. He also has a movie blog.

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted November 06, 2008 at 17:24:06

Isn't it sad that we have to wait until we've run out of room before we start building "smarter"?

No, it's probably sadder that we don't learn from other mistakes, especially ones occuring a one hour drive away.

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By jason (registered) | Posted November 06, 2008 at 18:03:33

I can't wait to see what they do with all of their 8-lane mega roads.

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