Comment 76015

By Mahesh_P_Butani (registered) - website | Posted April 17, 2012 at 21:13:56 in reply to Comment 76001

...we'll have multiple high-density nodes that serve the basic purpose of a downtown without being an historic core."

I agree with you entirely on your projection GRMR.

In my opinion, what validates your projection of multiple high-density nodes eventually serving the purpose of a downtown without a historic core -- is the existence of social & cultural ghettos formed around class/race in Ward 1 & 2

This may very well end up becoming the reality of Hamilton's future urban growth.

Whether or not one acknowledges the basis of what is shaping Canadian cites, such realities: 1 & 2, will continue to define Hamilton's larger form.

Hamilton's major future urban growth can only come primarily from immigration (from various countries), and marginally from suburb-to-core migration. The denial of this reality continues to exacerbate Hamilton's urban growth potential via its skewed marketing and messaging.

Acknowledging this reality can only help in generating strategies and public policies that create the basic pre-condition for rapid urbanization - which is that of becoming a city which is unconditionally inclusive and thus outward looking and embracing of foreign capital and foreign faces.

Currently, the mental state of Hamilton's many young minds is anything but inclusive. That is a fact borne out repeatedly via such public forums in our city, as well as displayed daily across our mainstream media via their in-bread mentality which cuts right across race lines with frequent lip-service to inclusion and fair-play.

The shocking lack of respect shown daily in this city towards new immigrants that bring initiative, ideas and investment along with a much needed cosmopolitan culture, is one of the primary reasons why there has been no major immigration rush to Hamilton in recent times. A kind of rush which has helped define the economic and cultural growth of cities such as Toronto, Vancouver or even Halifax.

The myopic behaviour of a certain privileged sections of Hamilton's younger generation who mimics their parents generation in this regards, has created the in-hospitable and relentlessly thankless image of Hamilton - which is flashed daily across the internet to prospective immigrants across the world. It is not just because of lack of jobs that immigrants don't move to certain cities, it is the kind of prevalent culture that guides their decisions to move capital.

If Hamilton does succumb on the death spiral it is presently on, it will not be on account of our politicians having not tried hard enough, but because of the total dis-ingenuity of it educated but ill-mannered younger generation which wants to make a Paris and Portland out of Hamilton, but yet fails to understand the multi-coloured economic and cultural forces that can make such a transition happen literally overnight.

A city in a death spiral looks very much like the apathetic, mono-cultural social groups that have already coalesced around Hamilton's many new-media channels. A condition that was already foretold in "The Portrait of a City" - which vainly spoke of economic success but yet shamelessly displayed the mono-culture via seductive images and narration. It is on the foundation of such cultural mis-steps that the many among Hamilton's younger generation are hell bent on reinventing their new culture of being separate but equal.

One just has to see the Kelly's, DiIanni's, the Babcock's and the plethora of cable shows, podacasts, blogs and facebook groups to truly understand the grip of the death spiral that Hamilton is already in via its unrelenting mono-cultural fetish.

The question is not whether Hamilton's younger generation will ever come to its senses - which is a foregone conclusion, but whether new immigration materializes fast enough to save Hamilton's urban Core and in turn Hamilton from itself.

The new immigrants 'choice' in settling among many dispersed and welcoming nodes which are culturally savvy, over choosing a inhospitable, mono-cultural core, is what will shape Hamilton's urban structure in the coming years.

I cry for Hamilton's urban core daily. Not for its empty parking lots or its lack of LRT, but for that twisted sensibility which has managed to hijack Hamilton's urban revitalization discourse and thus its future.

Mahesh P. Butani

Comment edited by Mahesh_P_Butani on 2012-04-17 21:29:19

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