Masochistic Perceptions, Trials and Truths

These are my cyberfied cerebral synapses ricocheting off reality as I perceive it: thoughts, opinions, passions, rants, art and poetry...

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Letter to the Edmonton Journal:

As a tax payer and someone who wants to 'live' in Edmonton, I grow weary of all this palaver about "putting Edmonton on the map as a world class city". Indy Car racing carrying costs in the millions, a World's Fair bid and Katz wanting to build an arena downtown but not flit the bill - the visionaries behind these notions are misguided (unless we look through to their ulterior motives of personal gain and lining their associate's pockets).

Think of any 'world class city': New York, London, Paris, Dublin, Tokyo. What draws people there consistently over the decades? Arenas? Specific sporting events? Fairs? No. People flock to these great cities because they are thriving with culture, history or reputations for having a variety of districts that satisfy a broad range of demographics. While advantaged by their age, these cities have been built up over time by the people who live there to serve their needs and create an aesthetic one would want to call home. If we want such a legacy for ourselves, then we need to sway from our urban sprawl and utilitarian cookie cutter architecture and begin to truly build our city. We are not thinking long term here.

As I stated in my opening, my desire is to 'live' in Edmonton. That means that I want my tax dollars supporting infrastructure and venues that will provide me with a variety of options in activities and aesthetics: green spaces and public parks, galleries, efficient transit system, unique neighbourhoods, good roads, safe streets, community festivals, etc. Indy Car races and arenas are fine, but not at the tax payers expense. The World's Fair's impact would be fleeting at best for Edmonton, and leave us with a debt legacy that would far surpass our global popularity. Let's make Edmonton an awesome place for Edmontonians to live, and that will attract more people and business to our city. To diversify our business and industry, we must provide a diversity of qualitative living experience that will make others want to make our city their home.


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