Comment 41341

By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted May 31, 2010 at 13:41:48

York's 1970s urban renewal, as Matt mentions above, might be the single biggest failure of Hamiltonian "urban renewal" visible. The street, which once looked a lot like Barton, Concession or King, got turned into a freeway. Since then, excepting possibly Salvages convenience store (which as far as I can tell has more robbers than customers), not a single business around there has survived - grocery stores, restaurants, banks, clubs, offices - all fled the area like rats fleeing a sinking ship, or simply died. Judging by that absolutely atrocious architecture, no real development has gone on there for years, and probably won't until it's turned back into something that looks a little less like the QEW.

Just as Jane Jacobs pointed out nearly two decades before they embarked on that lunacy, big development projects like that tend to fail because real civic life is far more complicated than any one person can commit to blueprints. Cities need a large variety of small, versatile spaces (ie mixed-used residential/commercial low-rises), not big developments which look good in "artist conceptions" but are an absolute waste if the original intentions are at all flawed.

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