Posts Tagged ‘Sustainable Cities’


There is two fundamental flaws with Chris Hume’s argument that Brampton does need a downtown. The first being that Hume’s discounts municipal identity over regional identity and the second being that a vibrant suburban Brampton downtown can encourage a higher, more sustainable density, living and working around the somewhat manufactured centre of the municipality. You can read Chris Hume’s article below at the Toronto Star.

Chris Hume’s: Downtown Brampton and other illusions
It is true that the GTA and Southern Ontario work as one economic entity driving the Canadian financial and manufacturing sectors. Each municipality is a cog in the machine that make it all work. Yet we cannot discount the importance that a vibrant, working downtown has on municipalities, especially the tenth biggest city in Canada. Identity is important for a municipaity, it gives the city purpose and drive. A bedroom community then has something to aspire to and work toward. People feel belonging which generates positive emotions and tangible productive results. Read any literature on identity and cities and we begin to understand the importance of belonging.

In some ways I felt that Hume’s was encouraging this car centric municipality with it big box stores, reliance on the automobile, and abundance of single family homes. As a Intern Architect, I cannot  condone these unsustainable developments. A downtown core that focuses and reduces the scale of the city back down to the pedestrian and encourages a commercial centre could allow for future development of transit alternatives, higher density condo living, and move away from annexation of the next subdivision just outsides Brampton’s borders.

I normally agree with much of what Hume’s writes, however not today, Brampton needs what Mississauga has begun to undertake. Mississauga has worked hard to create a downtown core, hopefully the Downtown21 plan will be realized reducing the current scale of the downtown to a more pedestrian friendly core. I can envision a future for Mississauga thanks to the Downtown 21 plan where a Light Rail option traverses the Mississauga core to GO Train stations alleviating traffic. Imagine having a commercial centre within a Brampton downtown alleviating some of the pollution caused by community to Toronto. Imagine a strong identity for Brampton that helps its influx of new immigrants integrate and feel Canadian, Bramptonian, and a part of a community. Imagine the future Mr. Hume, it will be better with a municipal downtown core… maybe they can have a hockey team too!


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