Saturday, March 15, 2008

Hamilton Canal Meeting

I went to the Hamilton Canal Meeting at Memorial Auditorium this morning. The plans (as laid out by Trinity Financial) are pretty phenomenal. It's going to take a few years before it becomes reality, but I really believe the plan is going to remake downtown.

But more than anything, I was impressed with the meeting itself. The room was literally standing-room only and there were tons of questions at the end from the crowd. There were downtowners, out-of-towners, UMLers, developers, city employees, city councilors, and even a city manager. Tocqueville himself would have been proud.

That reminds me of something -- a couple people have asked me why I call the blog "The New Englander" even though I'm not really *from* New England. Well, my initial response is that as a voluntary immigrant to the region, I am no less a New Englander than anyone who comes to the U.S. from a foreign country is American.

But there's more to it, of course. Having grown up in the mid-Atlantic and having lived in the South for a few years, I can tell you I haven't seen anything like this before -- either in terms of seriously thought-out urban planning or real civic engagement.

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