Comment 107045

By cyrprano (registered) | Posted December 13, 2014 at 13:38:34

While I think some of the theoretical ideas are a bit of a stretch this article presents some interesting ideas about disorder, neighbourhood revitalization, and sense of community. Still it's a bit radical to enforce a 'no broken windows' policy on storefront owners, especially for 'mom and pop' storefronts. For a beautification initiative to work it would take partnership between storefront owners, City of Hamilton, and local BIA's to work together to ensure the street itself and everything this encompasses (which includes storefront facades) is inviting to insiders and outsides. As the author mentions-- this can simply start by showing a sense of pride in the neighbourood. The problem is that this needs community-action NOT the individual action (whether that be financial or elbow grease) of storefront owners alone. Thankfully there is a lot of interesting research happening in this area throughout the City of Hamilton via CRUNCH @ McMaster University, Cobalt Connects, and the local BIA's via the Neighbourhood Action Strategy.

As an academic myself a little data to support these theoretical claims, and to direct the policy initiative being proposed, is required. This includes complementary methods such as statistics (for example- pseudo measures of socio-demographics like CENSUS data), observational (for example- systematic social observation), and qualitative interviews with community-stakeholders (to understand 'perceptions') to provide a birds-eye view and street-level perspective of the neighbourhood(s) under scope, like James Street. Thankfully a starting point could be checking out the methods and data available via Cobalt Connects 'Expressing Vibrancy' project ( which provides all kinds of useful data for James Street and 7 other focus neighbourhoods of the Hamilton.

Overall this is an interesting discussion that can add depth to much of the neighbourhood visualization, revitalization and beautification initiatives happening throughout the Hammer.

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