Walking Small

By Bruce Firestone | Architecture

Nov 11

I talk a lot about animation of individual properties–how to add new revenue streams to your real estate investment portfolio and boost your ROI and property value. But there is a whole other dimension to animation–how can you animate a whole neighborhood, indeed a whole town or city.

If you learn something about property animation from reading this blog or some of my books, teach your children and your neighbors too. Why should you help your neighbors?

Well, even if you don’t feel very neighborly, if your street and your community adopt animation principles it raises all boats, and guess what? Your property value increases with it too. So, be selfish: Help out your town…

What’s the ultimate goal? Here’s my wordy answer:

Developing policy planning tools and outside-the-box ideas as a way of attracting business investment and entrepreneurs to your town, spurring innovation and creating/permitting development of mixed-use communities where people can live in affordable, live-work-play, create-make-learn-grow, entertain-shop, exercise-grow-socialize, diversified, visitable, neo-urbanist, walkable, animated neighborhoods that are both economically and environmentally sustainable this will do more to reduce congestion and revive “dead” office and industrial districts than anything else I can think of… place-making, where not every trip is a car trip.

Alright, what does the title of this article (Walking Small) have to do with the price of rice? Nothing. It’s a take on American-Canadian Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s 2004 film, Walking Tall, which itself was a remake of an earlier 1973 movie of the same name.

Here’s the thing: In the first 6 or 7-minutes of the film while the credits are still rolling, we see our hero, returning soldier Chris Vaughn (played, naturally, by The Rock) walking from the docks to his folks home in Kitsap County, Washington. What he sees along the way are what I call anti-catalysts. Basically, everything you shouldn’t do to animate or re-animate your town.

It’s probably as important (maybe even more important) to know what NOT to do, what to avoid, as it is to know what to do. So, here in pictures, is what not to do.

Please note some of these images may be disturbing and not suitable for anyone under 18 years of age.

The images are from a legally purchased HD copy of the film via YouTube [Order number: YPC.YH9K-XL6L-5YU9-K7R9 and order date: Nov 11, 2019]. The movie was directed by Kevin Bray and produced by Hyde Park Entertainment, Mandeville Films, Burke/Samples/Foster Productions, WWE Films and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

The story was loosely based on the real-life story of Sheriff Buford Pusser. Much of the movie was shot in British Columbia.
Sure looks like a BC ferry
Note the banner above Chris Vaughn’s head and the shuttle bus advertising the new casino
Chris Vaughn walking home from the docks
He notices how the main street has been taken over by pawn shops featuring guns and guitars
Boarded up stores and FOR RENT signs are everywhere–it’s a dangerous place after dark and maybe even before that
A blight on the face of the earth–payday loans sharks are everywhere and they’re open 24/7/365 to breed more losses for gamblers frequenting the new casino
Shady bars are everywhere
Note the drug deal (lower right hand side) on every corner
Children are left alone on the street eating sugar candy in what has become a food desert while her mom…
is scoring drugs in an alleyway
The mill where Chris was hoping to find decent-wage work…
has closed for good to be replaced by…
a no account casino, which is basically a tax on the poor with…
rigged games and…
human trafficking abounds, as well as being a font of illegal drugs where…
violence and drunkenness are common…
where instead of police officers being the best people in town, the sheriff and his deputies are corrupt and…
racist, yet at the end of the day…
family still matters

Home is the place where, when you have to go there, They have to take you in.

[From Robert Frost, The Death of the Hired Man]

Noted urbanist Jane Jacobs, a native New Yorker, who spent a huge part of her life in her adopted hometown of Toronto, said many times that there can be no substitute for peace, order and good government and zero tolerance for petty crime, vandalism, graffiti or a garbage-filled public room with significant deferred maintenance not only in abutting private property but also in municipal infrastructure as well, failing which your town or city will circle the drain with major crime proliferating, real estate values cratering, wealthy people, entrepreneurs and the creative class removing themselves and property assessment (and hence municipal revenues) plummeting. Think DETROIT.

Prof Bruce

FOR REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT AND BUSINESS COACHING THAT’LL HELP YOU PROVIDE FOR YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY FOR 3-GENERATIONS, PLEASE CONTACT:

Bruce M Firestone, B Eng (civil), M Eng-Sci, PhD
Real Estate Investment and Business coach
Century 21 Explorer Realty Inc broker
Ottawa Senators founder
1-613-762-8884
bruce.firestone@century21.ca
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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.

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