Comment 26153

By Rusty (registered) - website | Posted July 31, 2008 at 16:45:35

In an effort to provide a bit of context to this discussion we should keep in mind that cities all over Europe (Leeds, Nottingham, lots of others) have recently pedestrianized huge sections of their downtowns. Not for them a protracted discussion on one-way versus two, but instead a firm commitment to create pedestrian friendly plazas.

These european cities understand that their downtown neighbourhoods are unique. They know that these are the neighbourhoods where the town was formed. These neighbourhoods encompass concentrated areas of historical buildings. They are central and thus have the unique capacity to bring the town together. They are a focal point for the city and crucial to forging it's identity. As a result these cities have a strong sense of identity and pride and their downtown's generate huge amounts of revenue by leveraging these unique strengths. To view downtown as 'any other neighbourhood' is naive, and displays a complete misunderstanding of what cities like Hamilton are and how they prosper. Hamilton has a wealth of history, and it grew from the core out. By failing to nurture this potential Hamiltons leaders are turning their back on their past and missing a great (and proven) opportunity to build a strong identity within their community.

Cheers

Ben

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