Can A Shopping Mall Save Griffintown? Find Out At Pecha Kucha Night - Tuesday Sept. 18th
Recently, Quebec developer Devimco partnered with Toronto-based RioCan to build the suburban Quartier Dix30 “lifestyle centre,” a drive-in power-centre big-box shopping mall located in a greenfield development at the intersections of Highways 10 and 30 on the South Shore.
Devimco is now working with the City of Montreal to push through a similar $1B development near the Peel Basin section of the Lachine Canal. The Gazette’s Mary Lamey reported that a parcel of land west of the Bonaventure Expressway and south of Ottawa Street, comprising 18 hectares, was to be developed. By my rough estimate, that would seem to indicate it will be sited on the former Canada Post sorting plant, but also possibly combined with other land adjacent to the Peel Basin itself. Reportedly, Wal-Mart and Canadian Tire are to be anchor tenants. Essentially, it’d span an area from Guy to Peel streets.
A suburban mall at the feet of two of Montreal’s central boulevards, in the middle of Griffintown and adjacent to Old Montreal, ignores both the “retail DNA” of Montreal and the history of a proud neighborhood. It’s anti-urban, representing low density and sprawl, and there is serious doubt that it will contribute positively in terms of built space, eyes on the street, and other issues.
Even if there is a residential tower attached, as the current proposal includes, it’s still likely going to be a lot of cheap car-dealership-style sheds separated by acres of parking lagoons… It’s an odd decision in a neighborhood that is moving towards drastically increased residential density and good urban design, and which is likely to be enhanced by the Harbour Commission’s plans to demolish the elevated portions of the Bonaventure Expressway to create a pedestrian-friendly urban boulevard and tramway links. With Peak Oil on the horizon, are big-box malls of national chain retail even viable, anyway?
We — being Stephanie Troeth and yours truly, AJ Kandy — are proposing an alternative, urbanist vision for the project in a quick six-minute presentation at the upcoming Montreal Pecha Kucha Night, Tuesday, September 18th at the SAT, starting at 8:20pm. We hope to see all of you there, and for those who can’t attend, we’ll be republishing it online with narration, background articles and links, and providing tools for action and discussion.
In the meantime, interested citizens should get in touch with the Sud-Ouest borough mayor’s office about an upcoming series of public consultations on the project.
Originally posted at Urbanphoto.
Signs your neighborhood is hip
When Hot Hot Heat shoot their video in a storefront just down the street from you…
I’ll subscribe ONLY if they promise lunch with The Kevin himself.
Personal degrees of Kevin Bacon
At tonight’s YULBlog meetup the topic of six-degrees-of-separation came up over and over again. So, from the trivia dept:
I used to take bass lessons with Hansford Rowe a former member of prog-rock-jazz group Gong who lived part-time in Montreal; his actor father, Hansford Rowe Sr, played Leon Bavardage in Bonfire of the Vanities alongside Tom Hanks; and Tom Hanks was in Apollo 13 with Kevin Bacon.
But, you know, we don’t hang out much these days…
Further reading: The small world phenomenon (Wikipedia)
GarageBand in your Pocket: Closer to Reality?
Just over a month ago someone at The Apple Blog wondered whether GarageBand would be retooled into a mini version for the iPhone (and now, the iPod Touch).
I think a basic 4-track recorder is do-able at CD quality, and 2-track at higher sampling rates. Obviously there isn’t CPU power to run virtual instruments and effects; nor is there enough storage space for the Apple Loops library. I imagine a basic click track or extremely simple pattern-based drum machine would be do-able, though.
The multi-touch interface would be well-suited to moving and manipulating audio clips (trimming start and end times, basic crossfades, setting loop points).
I’m sure that a range of dock-connector-based breakout boxes are possible, ranging from simple cables to a full 4-input, 2-output device with XLR mic inputs and phantom power, and maybe a supplementary battery pack for mobile recording.
Though the mockup above is just good old GarageBand cut down to fit on the iPod screen, I imagine you’d have to reinvent the interface almost completely to take advantage of multitouch and make the best use of the small real estate - i imagine more gesture-based commands, tapping a track to edit its parameters, double-tapping to edit a clip, drag to loop, etc.
bits and bites
- new iPod Nano, Classic and Touch. Sweet.
- Yesterday, someone answered an email I sent via a web form wayyy back in March, and tipped me to an open position at their company…which I’d applied for just the previous Friday.
- I have this strange plant i was given as a housewarming gift ages ago. Every year it seems to die, there’s just a papery bulb left in the soil; then every year, it shoots up this one huge new V-shaped leaf. It just did that last week. sign of renewal?
- I have really strange abstract dreams and never see anyone i know from real life in them. But last week, i had a dream and saw my late maternal grandfather. I’m not big on assigning meanings to these things, but it is interesting.