Got a Good Positive Idea?
Daniel Appell: Dec. 1, 2010
We got this idea from an article in the New York Times. Allison Arieff: The Public Square Goes Mobile
She clued us into this group called CEOs For Cities. http://www.ceosforcities.org/
They have this “Give a Minute” promotion. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEWlsiEyuZ4
We think this is a good idea.
We would like to try this on our blog. But…..
Unfortunately, we are not very tech savvy, so some technical assistance would be very much appreciated. In fact we know nothing about the social media so if you want to tweet, twitter, facebook, etc. you will have to do this yourself and then report through. Expect a learning curve to start with.
Here’s how it works:
Take a look at the materials indicated above.
Submit ideas to make our city better as comments to this post. Simple and small is better.
Remember, if you are smiling while writing your idea, then its a good idea.
No complaining. No debating. (If you want to complain or debate use the rest of the blog.)
After a number of ideas are collected, we will try to organize these ideas. Then we will send each bunch to various local leaders and experts and invite them to respond.
Asking for ideas? What about this? Less parking lots downtown, fewer cars and more green space.Commercial Str. completely car free. A small free regular shuttle bus cruising the downtown areas from Terminal Mall along Front Street , Port Mall and Old City Quarter.
You want an idea on how to improve downtown Nanaimo? Start by placing a D9 Cat. beside the old AB Sound building.Proceed north along Terminal Avenue demolishing this and every other building up to Comox Street. Cross over to the other side and do the same while driving south.
Great idea. Then get some developer to build attractive mixed housing units . Affordable rental units for young professionals,young families and students.Businesses on street level. No more parking lots, ban cars in certain areas.Then the free shuttle bus can even go up to the college. ( Would eliminate the parking problem for the college area)
This could be a great place to walk, have coffee, shop and enjoy the beauty that could be created!
It would increase the population density we have been talking about.
I know, I am a dreamer
Yes Inge,you are a dreamer and that’s a very good thing.If only we had a Mayor,Council,City Manager and Planners who could ‘dream’ and come up with an original idea once in a blue moon.Can you just imagine what could be accomplished with Terminal Avenue if the traffic could be re-routed off the street.Perhaps a design competition could be promoted to come up with a concept to incporporate the ideas you mention.An electric shuttle bus to carry passengers thru a downtown loop and up to the college is a great idea.I know Sunnydan has a great interest in transportation matters and hopefully he will provide his thoughts in due course.I read that the City is starting a new transportation study.That should be the beginning of more diesel buses and routes to destinations that people don’t want to go,and if they do,it will take for ever to arrive.By the way,this is off topic but the City is budgeting $31,000,000 over the next 5 years for the so-called Port of Nanaimo Centre (ie Convention Centre).It’s all in the 5 year plan now before Council.If anyone wants to know the details I can provide.
By the way,this is off topic but the City is budgeting $31,000,000 over the next 5 years for the so-called Port of Nanaimo Centre (ie Convention Centre).It’s all in the 5 year plan now before Council.If anyone wants to know the details I can provide.
WHAT! that equals $6 million per year; we can do lots with that loot!
Extend Mafaeo Sutton park to make more green space(forget the high rise)
Make downtown Nanaimo the “old City quarter” such as Front St & Commercial St.
If we really want the tourism business build a street car system to go between Front St & the (so called ) Old City Quarter.
Build a pedestrain bridge between the harbour & Newcastle Island.
Before you know it we will have some other attraction than a pretty harbour walk.
Melvin,yes the expenditures for the next 5 years are over $6,000,000 per year.The specific numbers for 2011 are as follows:
VICC operating expenses ($1,023,834),Conference Ctr.debt repayment ($2,339,048),Depreciation ($2,741,001),Capital Improvements ($100,000)and PoNC operating costs ($20,000).
The total is $6,223,883.The next 4 years,2012 to 2015,are basically similar.And it could get worse because the annual operating expenses (ie:losses) for the VICC may be low-balled in the 5 year plan.So,$31,000,000 is quite a number and I wonder if our esteemed Council really understands the impact this is having on City finances?
Do you have any ideas what the cost of building on those sites, to today’s standards would be?
There is a reason developers are not rushing to rebuild in the downtown core. Mine shafts, filled in tidal areas to name a few. Much of that area used to be under water at hide tide once upon a time.
If that is so and I believe you, why are we allowing highrises there and putting more and more millions into the convention centre?
I love these ideas. We have a built-in structure that makes our downtown area interesting, namely the fan-shaped streets. Many ideas capitalize on that.
Victoria Road is underutilized. There is a LOT of foot traffic on the street, making it ideal for small businesses.
There is one and only one sector of the population that will give us a dynamic downtown and that is the 19 to 30 age group. These are the people who are attracted to an urban street environment and spend money on entertainment, bars, restaurants and hip clothing stores. City Hall, the police and even some downtown property owners, however, do not want this demographic. Instead there are face painting contests for six years olds.
Making the downtown attractive to the 19 to 30 age group would mean creating a pub atmosphere on Commercial Street. It would no longer be a “dead street” after 6. It would also no doubt lead to more police incidents – 19 to 30 year old are more trouble than six year olds. This, of course, is why the police like the present situation – night clubs shunted off to the back alley. But the alternative is that it will continue to be three steps forward, four steps backward for the downtown.
I have always felt that this is the age group we are looking for to make downtown more attractive and alive. It baffles my mind that the university is building more student housing on the hill, where soon they will run out of place for building study related facilities.
Some of the area downtown would be ideal to facilitate student housing , in order to get the desired demographic mix. Shuttle vans could be running on a regular basis to the university, also eliminating some parking problems in that area.
There has been some talk of having some elements of VIU in the downtown area. Certainly we have considerable dead space in the conference centre which could accommodate a “school” such as the arts or the business school for example. I am told that the university has no interest in such an arrangement. Does anyone know why this should be the case? It seems to me that such an integration of town and gown would have advantages for both.
I thinks it’s called a turf war or perhaps Empire building!
I have yet to see nay reason it would not be viable.
Perhaps we should look at the Board of Directors at VIU an where their allegiances lie!
There are many pro development types on that board who seek to expand the City as opposed to growing it!
What would the advantage for VIU be?
VIU, City Hall, the Scool Board, the Port Authority,DNBA etc – why aren’t they working together to create a cohesive vision for Nanaimo? This visioning process could include transportation planning, walking trails, bicycle routes etc as well as identify areas for vibrant pedestrian plazas. I know the OCP provides some of this vision bit it was not formulated with full buy in from VIU etc.
In order to create a vision for Nanaimo you need leaders who actually have vision.
In Canada you will find we have quite a shortage of said individuals, at least in the public arena.
The University could be the deux ex machina to get the Conference Centre off the backs of the Nanaimo taxpayer. We could sell it to VIU for the amount of the debt. What a bargain for the University. Half price, basically (but then what is the market value of a facility that loses a guaranteed million dollars every year on operations alone). The hotel site would make a great location for a highrise student residence. And there is an instant injection of testerone into the Downtown.
The buildings could still be used for convention/conference type things in the summer months like at UBC and SFU – where they turn some student residences into a temporary hotel.
How to bring about this desirable event, I don’t know!
The company that saw the potential in the old Harewood Mall, are pure visionaries. Don’t suppose they would run for council?
Again, I repeat, what would the advantage be to VIU they have quite enough land to continue to expand their little empire right where they are.
BTW can anyone tell me how much the University pays the city in taxes?
Lizzie: You are absolutely correct. I am taken aback by the lack of cooperation and coordination between our publicly funded agencies. The point is that there is no vision. There are as many visions as there are agencies and multiple uncoordinated visions within those agencies to boot. They have grown in the absence of regular oversight by the public and have been left, like Topsy, to just grow. Until the public takes a greater interest and we have mechanisms for focusing that interest it is every man/woman for themselves. I wish I knew how to change this. Any ideas?
The advantage to the university is to become a part of the community and to have their students embedded in the “real” world. Both Arts and Business are “real” activities which could benefit from greater interaction downtown and the downtown could benefit from their proximity.
As for the taxes, as it stands, neither the university nor the conference centre pay property taxes, so this doesn’t affect the equation.
Don’t sell Harewood short. In years to come it could become part of the “real” world. As for Business as “real” activities, there is a fair amount of that done now in Harewood, downtown may still have a few more coffee shops, but other than that Harewood does have a Starbucks and downtown doesn’t. If ever there was a poster child for real world business it would be Starbucks.
The University already has a gallery, and I doubt it would be much of a stretch to see the “arts” community expand in Harewood also.
The University population probably rivals any of the downtown population now.
Too bad no taxes come from VIU but I’m sure they pay hefty user fees.
You seem to be of the Ïf you are not with me, you are against me” school of logic. I do not “sell Harewood short” when I suggest the downtown location. I am merely suggesting that the downtown is a symbol of the whole town and is central and I would like to see it a thriving place where we might all like to go. No matter how well the Harewood Mall serves its community -or Woodgrove its, for that matter- they are not at the heart of the city.