I rarely disagree with Chris Hume. For someone who enjoys a good moan with his early morning cuppa, I find this immensely frustrating, so you can imagine my dismay this morning when, yet again, the Toronto Star's Urban Affairs columnist hit the nail right on the head!
He writes that Big box architecture:
represents planning at its worst, a failure to take advantage of the urban conditions. None of these buildings deserves to exist. They are an affront to the city, painful demonstrations of what can happen once the corporate agenda is disengaged from the community in which it operates.
These large, bland, thoughtless, single-storey structures are conceived by corporate myrmidons who see no farther than the bottom line.
Bingo! Hume goes on to reflect on the increasing prevelance of big boxes in Toronto's downtown core (there's one coming to my neighbourhood very soon!) and laments the lack of political insight and will to turn these things away.
But he also suggests a frighteningly obvious solution:
The city need not roll over and play dead. Last year, when the Planning Act was amended, the province gave Toronto (and all cities in Ontario) the authority to set minimum height requirements for all new buildings.
Even if that were to be set as low as two storeys, it would force the corporations to rethink the way they operate in the city. Most likely, it would require mixed use, which, of course, is exactly what we want.
You must be logged in to comment.