Comment 114545

By JasonL (registered) | Posted November 02, 2015 at 08:49:58

Also, to add some further thoughts on urban design materials, I've long loathed attempts at faux heritage architecture as it usually comes off cartoony and cheap. However, I was just in Richmond, VA and was impressed by the quality of new brick developments, even in suburban box store locales. It would appear as though the city either requires a minimum amount of historic looking brick in all developments, or people just appreciate the feel of brick over stucco or glass. Walking through Richmond I was reminded of how much more enjoyable historic-looking brick buildings and cobblestone streets are compared with glass-walled streets. Something more humane and relaxing about it. I saw new condo/townhome developments that blended beautifully with the heritage feel, and glass towers with authentic looking brick bases.

Some Richmond links for those interested:

New townhomes in a new development, complete with brick roadway:

New suburban-style grocery store:

Contrast with typical new development in Hamilton.

Centre on Barton:

Typical new housing development:

Walkability and sense of place is created by so many small factors, all adding up. Road width, trees, materials, streetscape, mixed use etc.....

Nice to see a small city like Richmond building new suburbs in a similar manner to how Hamilton used to build suburbs, ala Westdale Village.

With vision and leadership at city hall, we could start doing the same. Again.

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