This column originally appeared in The Globe and Mail on July 18, 2013.
It has been said that the reason people visit Paris isn’t because it’s easy to park downtown. They go because of the culture, the food, the history and the public spaces. Strip all that away and Paris goes from la belle ville to dullsville.
Perhaps Canada’s cities can’t compete with the history and architecture of Paris, London or New York, but they can compete with better attention to public space.
Ottawa’s Byward Market. The mix of residential, commercial and public spaces contributes to making vibrant, livable cities. But public space can no longer be regarded as costly luxuries eating up tax dollars. They are investments in the economy of a city – and fortunately, they don’t need to cost that much money. (DAVE CHAN/The Globe and Mail)