Well today I started a blog…
Not because there aren’t enough blogs in the world… But because our City is changing, as a result of past decisions, external pressures and internal design. What will these changes mean? How will they affect our lives? What will the end result be? What can we do to make our City a more sustainable and livable community, for now and into the future?
Newton’s third law states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The 20th Century was a roller coaster ride for the North American City and every peak and valley that we experienced also created a related, but independent reaction. For example; The rampant industrialization of the Victorian era and post war industrial expansion, were economic booms that created employment for our residents, but also resulted in large tracks of contaminated brownfield lands within our communities. Communities were also divided by new highways and rail lines, needed to move those goods to market. The advent of the post war suburban dream created large lots with larger homes, but also pushed our serviced land to our municipal borders and changed us from a walkable community, to an auto centric one. Consequently, urban expansion raised the cost of servicing the increased municipal infrastructure to levels that, today, Cities struggle to sustain. Today, communities all over North America are revisiting past decisions and refocusing current ones, cognizant of the potential impacts on the lives of residents.
Through this Blog, I hope to look at our Community through a lens of livability and sustainability… Where we started… Where we are… Where we are going… and the opportunities and challenges along the way, through the unique lens provided by my multiple roles in Government, Culture and Commerce. Stay tuned, I am sure that this Blog will be a roller coaster ride as well!
Mark Elliott is a three term St. Catharines City Councillor for St. Patrick's Ward 4, which includes the Downtown; a Real Estate Sales Representative for McGarr Realty Inc., a locally owned boutique brokerage located in the downtown St. Catharines and Niagara-0n-the-Lake, and; a contemporary Canadian Visual Artist, specializing in paintings on canvas and wood, which deal with a social and political commentary, with a studio in Downtown St. Catharines.