Letter to the editor: Christianson supports a vibrant downtown
May 25, 2013
By DAVID BRODIE
I, David Brodie, as a downtown urban designer, feel I must take a stand on the following issue. The success of our downtown is largely dependent on its character and vitality. If there is no character and vitality then there is no significant draw for people of all ages to come downtown.
The character and vitality of a downtown depends on its proportional distribution of uses. This particularly includes maintaining representation of “mom and pop” stores which provide locally-sourced (and therefore sustainable) goods and services. A worrisome situation in our downtown is the ever-increasing number of corporate stores as well as eating and drinking establishments. This is causing an imbalance in the ideal mix of land uses.
It would seem that the different groups and individuals who exercise considerable influence over the survival of our downtown do not understand this basic tenet. Included among these groups are the City Council, Downtown Business Association and the Chamber of Commerce.
Surprisingly, I have only heard one individual person making any kind of comment that recognizes this important principle. This person is Carlyn Christianson. I and Save Our Downtown support Carlyn Christianson for City Council because she has gone on record supporting “a vibrant downtown which depends on a mix of businesses that serve the whole community.”
Carlyn is also an advocate of providing more housing downtown and will work toward insuring that downtown becomes a suitable environment for downtown residents. I and Save Our Downtown envision that she will lead the Council and our City in growing a dynamic, vital and long lasting downtown.
David Brodie was a Professor in the Architecture Department at UC Berkeley from 1963 to 1970. David was hired to teach Architecture and City and Regional Planning at Cal Poly in 1970 and retired in 2004. He has been a guest lecturer at universities around the world and has, since his retirement, been actively involved in civic affairs.