David Crombie Hamilton Podcast

Posted on Nov 20, 2013 In Audio Latest Updates

David Crombie, mayor of Toronto from 1972 to 1978 and a Minister in Brian Mulroney’s government, was the centre of attention at The Future of Ontario Cities, an informal Q&A event hosted by The Brain, SuperCrawl and Thier + Curran Architects on November 17, 2013.

The event was moderated by Ryan McGreal, editor of Raise the Hammer, and attracted a friendly gathering of about 60 people.

Crombie spoke on a wide range of topics from urban renewal circa 1960 and the writings of Jane Jacobs to city-suburban fence mending and the art of listening.

Below is an audio recording of the discussion

Based on Crombie’s ideas, here are fifteen practical actions groups and individuals can take to build a better city:

  1. Engage in the “hard work of democracy” rather than selfish, wedge politics.
  2. Read pertinent literature to develop a philosophical framework needed to inform evidence-based planning and decision making.
  3. Seek to occupy the “vital middle” between hope and reality – use dialogue to understand common needs and interests.
  4. Develop a shared vision through listening to local residents and understanding their needs.
  5. Hammer on key game-changing issues, like all day GO train service for Hamilton.
  6. Have clear “asks” of government and work simultaneously with elected representatives and bureaucrats.
  7. Build bridges between the city and suburbs to ensure mutual benefits.
  8. Take care of people in need – the growing gap between the rich and poor hurts everyone.
  9. Enlist residents in the work of community renewal – citizens, not city hall, need to be “in the driver’s seat.”
  10. Apply pressure in the right places – in many cases, solutions to city issues rest with the provincial government – e.g., the Ontario Building Code, community uses of publicly funded schools, etc.
  11. Support those people who are willing to do something other than talk and complain.
  12. Engage in regional collaborations across the entire Greater Golden Horseshoe.
  13. Employ downtown intensification as the best strategy to mitigate suburban sprawl and create “equity of opportunity.”
  14. Help developers understand how they can make money in an era of urban intensification and mixed income communities.
  15. Use local schools as hub sites for neighbourhood wide services – daycare, language classes, etc.

LISTEN NOW

Part I

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Part II

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