Thursday, November 01, 2007

Banks vs. the City

I'm not always a fan of everything they do, but much credit is due to Centre Venture Development Corp., who are bringing up the issue of banks who maintain the decades-old practise of red-lining by refusing to lend money to would-be developers on Main Street. If there's anything that stands in the way of Main Street ever clawing its way back to life (which a few property owners are valliantly attempting to do in spite of these barriers), this is it.
Free Press story
CBC story

This example of the Dominion Bank's attitude towards cities is from an advertisement in the Winnipeg Free Press/Winnipeg Tribune (the two papers were published together at the time because of a labour strike a the Free Press), from January 1946:
"Cities replanned and beautified in their central areas to reverse the trend that has drawn the city worker to the suburbs, leaving slums and ugliness to flourish in his wake--that is part of the vision the coming years must make a reality.

The most populous parts of our cities must be made liveable again, by clearing away the debris of a past age, opening congested areas to light and air, and providing elbow room for the city dweller.

Scientific planning, a co-operative community spirit, wise direction of financial resources, can make this possible. In such progressive developments as this, The Dominion Bank, with a tradition of community service covering three quarters of a century, will be proud to play its part."

The big banks seemed to have no problem lending money to the destruction of our cities sixty years ago. Today, they refuse to help with the rebuilding of them.


This interview in the latest issue of The Manitoban is, *ahem* in my opinion, well worth the read.


Recognizing this blog is in dire need of some (intentional) humor, this clip by the Flight of the Conchords explore the pitfalls of inner city life, via Pet Shop Boys-esque synth stylings:


Anonymous Krystyn said...

Well written article.

6:42 AM  

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