Comment 34400

By Mahesh P. Butani -- http://www.metroHami (anonymous) | Posted October 02, 2009 at 15:20:28

Hello Michael,

Nice article! It was also nice getting to know of your interests in urban development, writing and photography from your website.

Your observations of racial composition and the its impact on blighted neighborhoods is very valid, and Hamilton is extremely lucky to have avoided this and its resultant complex and irreversible complications - which have severely afflicted many cities in the US.
(ref: Urban Geography: A Global Perspective, Michael Pacione )

Having followed the growth of almost all the neighborhoods(*) in Hamilton over the last decade, I am inclined to say that -blight- is not the most accurate term to describe what ails Hamilton presently. If anything it is our aversion to celebrate our distributed, incremental regrowth that is most often the cause of our sickness.

Through the past decade, the momentum of the regional economy has managed to prevent true blight from forming in Hamilton.

The few neighborhoods skirting the industries on the north did and are going through some very tough times with the shift in the industrial base, leaving in its wake distraught neighborhoods. But as I have seen over the last five years, the strength and will of the communities in that part of the city has proved that not only does the survival skills needed in this time of transition - exists; but there is also an amazing amount of ingenuity and innovation flourising within these communities through which they are slowly but surely overcoming the conditions that could have led to -blight.

We should be proud that race issues has not been the driver of urban growth, decay or regeneration in Hamilton, as they have in countless cities across the continent. Although we do need to urgently tweak the public perception via your interest in photography - by documenting the resilience of our struggling neighborhoods that are fighting hard to regain their self-esteem and 'sense of place' and winning - amidst a political process that is often confusing and self-defeating on account of class issues.

I invite anyone interested in visiting these neighborhoods with me - to see and confirm first hand what I am stating here.

(*) Hamilton's Neighborhoods:




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