Comment 35653

By Shawn Selway - can't seem to create (anonymous) | Posted November 21, 2009 at 23:53:07

Nice to see some people actually thinking about our own particular geographic situation instead of repeating the usual cliches although there's lots of that too.

Every "brownfield" is different and we have little information about any of them except Hamilton Harbour, about which we have a great deal. A similar detailed mapping of our lands below the Mountain would be very useful when debates like this one are underway.

I find the use of Google maps in satellite view helpful in thinking about our choices. Compare the Barton-Bay-Queen precinct with the Dundurn -403 areas. Then have a look at the rest of the available tracts below the mountain.

Similarly for the American downtown sites that are sometimes mentioned as examples. Most large U.S. cities have highways going right through their historic centres. My favourite folly in this line is Charleston, West Virginia, which was built in a narrow river valley and now has interstates running straight through. Fabulously destructive. But I digress already.

Have a look (if you will) at Pittsburgh by satellite photo. The Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area has a population of 2.5 million. The historic centre has 300k, and dropping. In addition to the domed Mellon arena, they have two stadia. Heinz Field seats 65,000 for football, and has sold out for every game since 1972. PNC Park is the baseball stadium. Seats 38,000. These two would be side by side, were it not for the parking lot that separates them, and is itself twice the size of both combined. Google it up, folks. They are served by full size extensions of interstate highways that run straight through town.

What does this have to do with Hamilton? Absolutely nothing, I would say.

Now check Cleveland. Same deal. Pop. 2.2 million. Pop. in historic centre, 450K, dropping like a stone for the past decade. Cleveland Browns Stadium on the water seats 73,000. Served by an extension of I90 that runs down the shore. Oh, and by an airport about the size of ours, also right on the shore. The baseball stadium is Progressive (formerly Jacobs Field). Capacity: 43,000. Sits at the intersection of 77 and 90.

What does this have to do with Hamilton? Again, nothing whatever that I can see. Except for this: commentators who think that US stadia went downtown instead of out in the burbs where the roads are happen to be wrong. The roads are in the "downtown", and that is why the stadia are there. Did I mention that both Pittsburgh and Cleveland have rapid rail transit systems? Not relevant to stadium location question - there. Maybe here.

Clash: London calling to the imitation zone: forget about us, and go it alone.

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