Repost: Q&A with Sean Hertel: “A good city is worth paying for”

I thought Andrew Russell interview with Sean Hertel on Spacing Toronto complemented the themes I was developing in yesterdays post, so I’ll repost an excerpt:

Spacing: How have suburbs evolved and what did you mean by a more dynamic environment?

Sean Hertel: I think the suburbs have grown up, but our understanding of them has not. They’re no longer extensions of the city any longer, they are something new- something new happened. They are cities unto themselves and they have their own distinct character apart from the city. They’ve become something different, it’s not suburban, it’s not urban, it’s the new city.  And we haven’t really recognized that at all. We haven’t acknowledged the authenticity of the suburbs and the fact that they have become the new city. Whereas downtown is the city in history, the suburbs are the city in real time, whether we like it or not. That’s the truth that we have to reconcile our planning and our conceptions of urban space with.

I wouldn’t personally characterize the downtown as “the city in history,” downtowns are also evolving rapidly, but overall I think Sean makes a great point.

Click here for the full interview.


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