I have a bit of a reputation for being restless, ready to change things up a bit more regularly than the average person. It’s who I am and always have been, and it makes the fact that I’ve hosted this blog for 4+ years pretty dang amazing. But I’ve recently decided that sill pillow (the city in words) has run its course and it’s time for something different.
So this is my last post.
Thank you to anyone who has enjoyed it even the tiniest bit. I know I enjoyed writing it. It was a great outlet — especially when I wasn’t working. In addition to vents and rants about everything from the Burlington waterfront and narrow-minded politicians, to the Ottawa-Carleton District Board of Education, and the Lansdowne Park redevelopment, I also squeezed in some more personal stuff. Confessions of motherhood, my not-so-secret love of Steely Dan, and self-analysis of my vocational path.
Looking ahead, there are a few things I see myself remaining very interested in on the urban living front. I’ve become increasingly more passionate about the need and potential for cooperation and collaboration between municipalities, developers and residents. Condos or (large-scale multi-use developments like Lansdowne Park) aren’t made of sand or Play Dough. Once they’re built, they’re here to stay for a very long time. We need to recognize the ripple effect of this permanence, and do all we can to ensure that what is built is some dynamic combination of the following:
- innovative design (design that pushes boundaries and defies cookie cutter)
- affordable (all or part)
- includes a selection of 3 bedroom (family-size) units
- sustainable (made with quality materials, built to last)
- adds positively to the community that surrounds it (aesthetically and functionally)
- includes ground level tenants that provide unique or needed benefit to the community (i.e. child care, social enterprise, interesting, independent restaurants and retail)
- features green space that doesn’t appear as an afterthought but is actually well-planned, welcoming and functional
- embraces the practicality, popularity and posterity of cycling as a primary mode of transportation
Pessimists may say that any hope of a Kumbaya moment between the likes of Claridge Developments, the Hintonburg Community Association and Councillor Hobbs is completely unrealistic but I disagree. I have no time for defeatist thinking on this subject. As cities are built, the futures of those cities are forged. Why shouldn’t we all play a part in their making? And more importantly, why shouldn’t the likes of Claridge be completely and utterly open to producing something that will stand the test of time and be remembered as truly collaborative to the point of satisfying not just the pockets of Claridge, or the people who line those pockets, but to the city as a whole.
We are all stakeholders.
It’s time to be ground-breaking when we break ground.