Thursday, January 15, 2009

Slow growth

I wrote this article and submitted it to the Uniter last month, but since they break from publishing in the Winter break, it did not appear until today's issue.


Lots of great ideas for Winnipeg's increasingly barren urban landscape, such as this view from corner of Martha Street and Pacific, but so little means to enact them. Summer 2008. Photo courtesy of 1ajs

"Latter decades of slow growth... have rendered Winnipeg a largely ghettoized and misanthropic place. In spite of the best intentions of planners, and a great, heart-warming pool of imagination, art, holistic initiatives and community economic development, the population of the old City of Winnipeg has declined by almost a third since 1972. The luckiest traditional commercial thoroughfares have been pock-marked by strip malls, while the worst off have disappeared almost entirely. Portage and Main, the historical, geographic and economic heart of the city, has been barricaded to pedestrians for 30 years. Banal new suburbs mushroom at the city’s fringe, while the bounds of the impoverished inner city also sprawl outward.

A good idea is nothing but an idea without money. The desire and ability of individuals to make money in Winnipeg is the only thing that built soaring warehouses and commercial blocks in the Exchange District, or the beautiful houses that sit on tree-lined streets in the West End. It is also the only thing that will able to restore and reuse these into their second centuries..."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Slow growth" was so last year. For 2009 look for "rapid contraction."

4:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lets just all come out and say it already:

Winnipeg sucks.

The best and brightest move to Alberta and B.C. the first chance they get, and I don't blame them one bit.

This city is just another Saskatoon as far as I'm concerned.

I absolutely hate it here in Winnipeg.

3:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ 3:39 less bitching, more relocating chump.

1:39 AM  
Anonymous kid zubaz said...

@ 1:39


11:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Live Winnipeg
Survive in Calgary, or try too

Your choice.

9:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah because Winnipeg & Calgary are the only places to live.

no wonder "outsiders" say Winnipeggers are small-minded.

1:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, at least in Edmonton and Ottawa you get NHL hockey in the wintertime...

Winnipeg gets more boring and depressing every year.

There's nothing to be passionate about here!

6:51 PM  
Anonymous kid zubaz said...

Yes, the best way to generate civic passion is to outsource it to a couple dozen twentysomething millionaires.

The NHL can kiss my hairy arse.

11:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

^ Well hey, take away the Oilers from Edmonton (and West Edmonton Mall too)... what do you end up with?

A very boring city.

Another Winnipeg.

1:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like it or loathe it, Winnipeg continues to fall further and further behind other Canadian cities in terms of what it can offer its residents with respect to employment opportunities, quality of life and cultural and entertainment amenities. There is very little vision here and the small mindedness of the people is nauseating. Look at the excitement that was generated when IKEA was coming to town! I went to IKEA in Mpls.and couldn't wait to get out of the store. Nothing but a bunch of cheap garbage, and the inexpensive food in the restaruant was stomach-turning. If we don't get some vision soon and start SERIOUSLY investing in the inner city and addressing our crippling poverty and crime problem in much of old Winnipeg, I'm afraid it will be too late. I'm to the point where I feel it's too late for me (as in I've had enough of going nowhere in my career). I'm contemplating leaving for the West Coast within the next year.

12:35 AM  

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