An Abandoned School in Detroit, Michigan (Source: Detroit1701, Flickr)
“How soon country people forget. When they fall in love with a city it is forever, and it is like forever. As though there never was a time when they didn’t love it. The minute they arrive at the train station or get off the ferry and glimpse the wide streets and the wasteful lamps lighting them, they know they are born for it. There, in a city, they are not so much new as themselves: their stronger, riskier selves.”
-Toni Morrison, Jazz
And I wasn’t the only one. During the Q&A period, I heard way more accolades than questions, which were of the softer variety. For a crowd that would typically be much more hostile to conservatives, this was definitely a little surprising.
Maybe Alberta is finally starting to move forward?
Dave Cournoyer (a.k.a. Daveberta) recently published a great article, alison redford and her new cabinet could lead a new urban agenda.
He argues that the loss of the PC’s socially conservative rural seats to the Opposition Wildrose Party provides the ruling PCs with a unique opportunity to re-invest in Alberta’s growing cities. For a party that has traditionally feared urban centres and their love all of things orange and red, this could be a refreshing change.
I certainly love a comeback.
Despite all the hate for Cleveland recently, the city is finally taking an aggressive approach to curb its decline. According to The Atlantic CITIES, the 2010 U.S. Census showed the slightest population growth in the city’s core. Moreover, Downtown Cleveland now boasts a 95% occupancy rate.
This recent population shift truly represents the impact of North Americans’ evolving lifestyle preferences. My parents never even considered raising a family in the inner city, and my generation is now flocking to the neighbourhoods that were neglected for most of the postwar years.
In D.C., my friends and I spent long nights on the U Street Corridor, a neighbourhood that was once home to drug traffickers and the 1968 race riots. Older generations were once told to never step outside after dark on U Street, and now even the New York Times is calling it “new and hip.”
The same phenomenon is happening in Toronto’s once-derelict Parkdale, New York’s Harlem, and even Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.
Hopefully the trend catches on in Edmonton, as our downtown could certainly use a facelift.
Miss everything about this day—sailing on the Potomac River in 30-degree weather with some pretty awesome company. Edmonton better start warming up soon….
I stumbled across this great article by blogger Michelle Boyd on the end of the fine arts program at Fort McMurray’s Keyano College. Ignoring the expletives, it demonstrates the sad reality that we’re living in a province that places an increasingly greater value on the “hard” sciences (a.k.a anything that helps extract oil from sand) and ignores the merits of anything remotely creative.
Richard Florida would certainly be disappointed.