Dec 09

Sparks Street Getting Lift from New Development?

At last, Sparks street in Ottawa may get a lift from a proposed new hotel plus residences to be constructed on this pedestrian-only, sad-sack excuse for an urban road and public room.

Since the mid 1980s, I have argued that the only way to make such a space work is to have 1,000s of people living within a 10-minute walk. It doesn’t matter if they’re in a hotel or condos, you just need to have people in the area 24/7 to animate downtowns everywhere and anywhere. People need to live there, take ownership of the public room and care about it, even if it is almost exclusively for the wealthy. It’s better than the alternative, which is a nearly deserted, dangerous-after-dark kind of no-place. That’s why Manhattan works and Sparks street doesn’t.

This isn’t a state secret.

But despite this, the NCC (National Capital Commission) has tried one failed urban planning strategy after another–things like adding kiosks, expensive street furniture, funky lighting, pricey pavers… total waste of time and taxpayer money.

@ profbruce

@ quantum_entity


8 suggestions for starting up Sparks street,

Why the Sparks Street Pedestrain Mall in Ottawa Sucks,

Livable Cities,

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About the Author

Bruce is an entrepreneur/real estate broker/developer/coach/urban guru/keynote speaker/Sens founder/novelist/columnist/peerless husband/dad.