Monday, November 30, 2009

Downtown reborn, again. And again...

More troubling, though completely unsurprising evidence that public megaprojects are not a means to an end, but are the end themselves.

"Downtown Winnipeg BIZ executive director Stefano Grande said that $1.2 billion has been invested in downtown since the MTS Centre opened.

"Red River College, the revamped Millennium Library, Manitoba Hydro Place and The Forks Skate Plaza have all been finished since 2004.

"The Canadian Museum for Human Rights is also going up at The Forks, and the downtown walkway system will soon be a closed loop."

And how much money from this straw-grasping list has been paid through private sources? This is a bit like measuring a city's crime rates based on the number of police officers on the payroll.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

you can't argue that the projects listed haven't had a positive effect on the values, and perceptions of the area.

There aren't enough "private sources" to fund what plaques the City. Puiblic money if used wisely can benefit the City.

2:29 PM  
Blogger MacD said...

this is all government money. this is simply re-distribution of wealth. it's the 's' word

9:14 PM  
Blogger urbandude said...

In the US, public money can not be accessed unless there is a district development plan which focuses on the right principles.

No wonder the american downtowns are so far ahead of us.

Its time to link all this stuff together.

9:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That makes sense, but what do you mean by linking "everything together. I know what I would do, elaborate.

What I would link is Centreport, Ikea, UofM, Red River, UofW, BiomedCity, Virology Lab, Railyards, Stadium.

10:55 PM  
Blogger Louis Riel said...

It means having a comprehensive downtown development plan where new developments aren't planned in isolation, but in how they relate to business, residential and nightlife.

And they are planned in such a way as to become more than the sum of their parts.

Currently its a hodge podge of whatever someone lobbies the NDP hard enough for.

9:45 PM  
Blogger urbandude said...

Thanks LR

You actually sound smart.

I would add

-An effective downtown bus connecter, not the Spirit.
-Concentrating uses
-Focus housing in one zone, office in another, and allow space for retail to flourish. Dense up Downtown!
-Not allowing peripheral development outside of this plan
-Coordinating parking requirements for developers
-TOD projects near major transit hubs
-Developing great places for people to walk, especially around the MTS Center, the Ball Park, the Library, the Convention Center. And the streets between these nodes having all active storefronts.

This is what works.

Still not sure how the city can force this to happen. Even if a plan is developed, if there a will for the develoment community to follow, or does it need to be mandadted through zoning? What if this does not work?

8:08 PM  
Blogger Louis Riel said...

Look at the transparency and communication from the Mayor of Portland:

Sam? Where's your Twitter?

3:46 PM  

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