Who's Your City?, by Richard Florida
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Edgy Potential

wycbarbWindsor, Ontario – Living here at the moment is a little scary with increasing numbers of boarded up stores and closing businesses. We’re definitely on the job loss cutting edge. It’s odd though that still remarkably stupid people continue to talk about another bridge to Detroit creating even more truck traffic and resulting pollution even as the economy changes and the need for such a bridge evaporates. But Windsor also has huge potential for success. As the most southern city in Canada it has remarkable water ways and a much warmer client than the rest of Canada. As a grape growing area it has already marketed world renowned vintages and could become a much bigger tourist destination. With a university and a medical school affiliation, a regional cancer centre and many complementary health practitioners, it could become a centre for research and practice of alternative health modalities. And with a clearly collapsing casino and a less than healthy population, not only do we have a wonderful site for research in the casino and attached hotels on issues such as work life and environmental stress, but we also have access to both control and test subjects right here in this community. There are many artists here as well as musicians. It will be interesting to see where those visionaries take us.

Sent by Barbara from Windsor, Ontario

6 Responses to “Edgy Potential”

  1. Libby Says:

    Have you always lived in Windsor, Barbara? If not, how does it compare to other cities you’ve inhabited? It kind of sounds like a lot of places these days – plenty of promise, and no idea what to do with it.

  2. katrina couture Says:

    Yes Windsor COULD be so many things- but living here i feel little more than a mounting sense of doom. This city, more than anywhere needs to embrace change to stay afloat. Everything must change- and yet there’s no change in sight. No one seems willing to fund it, as if this city is too far gone, no hope- only outdated pushes to keep manufacturing afloat. The area has collapsed- finally- it was inevitable- but now that we the lucky bunch with the highest unemployment rates around- are finally hitting rock bottom- i wonder if we’ll stay there. and Yes of course it’s time to change directions- shed this: in box thinking, a re-vamp of the hoards of windsorites who cling so happily to old school mentalities which have stagnated the city – Will we finally re-examine: the way we think, our actions, our priorities, and abilities…etc. Will we progress towards a conclusion which will prompt us to change our lifestyles?… who knows. i hope so but i don’t realistically think so. We do need something to stimulate thinking- re-vitalize our job market- some convenient conduit- a motivator- inspiration….. it’s nice to talk about nice things, nothings changed though. and aren’t i cynical…. i know, but thats’ what living here has done to me… the heart of change lies in our creative thinkers who – inconveniently (for us- not so much for them) leave as soon as they’re able to- and can you blame them…. i know I’m unemployed… extra fun to invest in an education that gets you no where but into debt you’re unable to pay off because you can’t even find a low end job….which leaves me looking for means to jump ship as well, and wondering if Windsor is really worth saving-

  3. concerned Windsorite Says:

    Windsor needs Richard Florida to use it as a template because nothing is moving forward here and things could be fabulous. With a new medical school, law school, university and college as well as Ford Automotive Research Centre the intellectual capacity is here.
    Our workers are the most skilled anywhere. We have empty factories and could become a Green Sector, An Entertainment District, a Festival City or a Retirement area. The powers that be need to choose a goal and stick to it to re-enter the new millenium.
    We have great waterways, beaches, carolinian forests, golf, wineries and a Casino and yet we are stuck in neutral with no available way out.
    Richard, come here, and use this beleagured city as a blueprint to reinvent itself. Help is needed ….

  4. S Says:

    I too hope that Windsor is able to turn itself around with some new school thinking. The old way of the unions has come to an end and in the short term it hurts, but in the long term it is going to be a lot better. I made Windsor and area home for 17 years, I really enjoyed my time there. Luckily I have moved on (unluckily still have a house for sale there). The economic down turn will end and Windsor will have a new future. People and companies are going to take advantage of the very low cost of property there. Median house cost in Windsor is ~$165K ! Try and do that in most of Canada !

  5. Kevin Says:

    A couple years ago, the city planning department had a call for submissions from the general public for ideas on how to improve the city. Me and my unrealistic, pie-in-the-sky, dreamy ways submitted a twelve-page paper with ideas on everything from a subway system to roundabouts to new parks and transit facilities. Needless to say I never heard back from the city about my ideas.
    Unfortunately, now that I’ve finished school and have a $26,000 debt to pay off, I’m forced to leave this city which my family has called home for nearly 200 years, in order to find a job. Let’s hope the city someday takes some of the suggestions they asked the citizens for, and use them to make this a better place for everyone.

  6. Shane Says:

    Windsor economically, culturally and socially faces Detroit and not Toronto. The majority of fans in Windsor cheer on Detroit’s teams, the major employers in the city are from “across the river”, most people have family or friend in Michigan. Heck, Windsor even looks like a Detroit suburb with the similar architecture and communities (cross border planners and architects surely). That said, Windsor will never get out of it’s funk until the border opens up. Windsor is too tied in with its siblings across the river and it will rise or fall with Detroit. What Windsor (and Michigan) need more than anything is an EU style opening up with full labor mobility across the region. If France and Germany can do, surely Windsor and Michigan can.

    One thing is for sure. The rest of Canada already considers Windsor a foreign city that is for all intents and purposes already American and treats it as such… Windsor will get no help from Toronto or Ottawa.

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