Save Griffintown!

Aubin: Montreal needs Drapeau-like vision to develop Blue Bonnets site by ajkandy
July 25, 2008, 1:27 pm
Filed under: Blue Bonnets, developers, news

Story here.

Glad to see Aubin’s picked up the end-of-cheap-oil mantra and is using that as the lens through which to examine the  various projects the city and the province are pushing forward — more car-centric developments and highways.

If we’re not going to get a Hammarby in Griffintown, maybe Blue Bonnets would be an ideal site for a carfree, zero-emissions, zero-waste residential development.

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Americans abandoning cars in droves by ajkandy
July 6, 2008, 10:57 am
Filed under: griffintown

Furthering the idea that there is no future in a car-oriented shopping development, check out this amazing post from my friend Payton Chung, who works for the CNU down in Chicago. Americans are discovering that their SUVs are now worth less than 40% of what they paid for them a year ago, travel on foot or bike is changing the patterns of social interaction (deeper, more meaningful conversations; storytelling), and, if you were to describe the trajectory of exurban development as a parabola, we are at its peak and now coming back to earth, as it were.

Quick Updates by ajkandy
July 6, 2008, 10:46 am
Filed under: griffintown

So what’s been going on with Projet Griffintown?

Essentially, the project has gone through at the municipal level — the proposed changes to the urban plan were adopted, paving the way for Devimco’s project.

Since then, there was a meeting at the local borough council in order to “conform” the local borough’s own urbanism plan to the new city plan, at which we all attended, spoke, and asked questions.

After that, there’s been one or two procedural meetings, but there’s something else very interesting going on which might derail Devimco’s project altogether.

The city some time ago gave Devimco an extension in order to get their funding guarantees together. And, likely linked to that deadline, according to Le Devoir, the actual expropriations have been pushed forward to September. 

If Devimco can’t come up with funding guarantees in time, then their ‘entente de developpement’ with the city falls through. The question then becomes, will another developer step in to do something within this new, grossly overscaled urban plan?

Given the state of the economy at the moment, and the never-to-again-be-cheap price of oil, I can’t foresee anyone looking at a car-based retail project and thinking that it would be a good long-term investment. Now would be the time to do something bold and innovative; maybe it’s time to talk to the developers of Dockside Green, or Foster and Partners — they’re building the world’s first modern carfree sustainable development, Masdar City, in the UAE.

If they can do it, why not us?