Comment 420

By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted April 23, 2006 at 09:55:03

Great point. I guess for me what really rankles is that the art of the urban row house has been debased into medium-density sprawl.

By sprawl I mean a rigid separation of uses - in this case, if your description is correct, by sequestering the row houses inside a self-contained pod that recluses itself from the rest of the street.

After boxy single-family homes with huge jutting garages, that seems to be the most common type of recent development on the mountain. I'm always amazed when I drive along major North-South roads only to see the backs of townhouses running all down the street on both sides.

What kind of street presence is that? What king of culture will that produce? Is it any wonder the Mountain is plagued with disconnected people who have nothing better to to do than vandalize property, joy-ride in stolen cars, and threaten other unfortunate carless passers-by?

I know you can't extrapolate from an anecdote, but it's certainly suggestive that after fourteen years of living in Hamilton, all of them in the lower city, the only assault I've ever witnessed was in the parking lot of a strip plaza on the Mountain.

They didn't know if the victim was going to survive the attack, and I had to go up to the police station on Stone Church (itself designed according to sprawl principles, with a single story building isolated in the centre of a huge parking lot) and file a witness report.

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