PlanSJ – Community of neighbourhoods

One thing we’ve heard fairly consistently from citizens is their desire for local, complete neighbourhoods. People support the need to single out specific areas for specific kinds of attention (for example, the uptown), but they also want their own neighbourhoods to retain some kind of identity, and to remain sustainable.

This isn’t just nostalgia. Saint Johners see their landscape in four dimensions … the City as it is today, and the City as it was. People refer to Centracare or the K-Mart (which have been gone for decades) like they’re still there. Lancaster and Portland and Simonds no longer exist as legal entities, but they’re a part of daily conversation. And even the Saint John of today is defined as a collection of 80-odd different placenames. Citizens of Saint John are citizens within localized communities that may not be easy to find on any city map.

The importance of local identity and local community needs to be accommodated within PlanSJ. This means taking steps to ensure that neighbourhoods keep the basic elements needed to make them ‘complete’ — social spaces, recreational opportunities, retail, and so forth. A focus on overall sustainability is essential, but the sustainability of neighbourhoods is also a priority.

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