Kingston: The (insert adjective here) City

most sustainable city, smartest city, most romantic city, livable city design awardsAs a result of the creative, innovative and unique initiatives undertaken by the Limestone City, we’ve grown somewhat accustomed to well-deserved praise, respectful titles and enviable accolades that place Kingston head and shoulders above other communities in Canada and around the globe. Case in point, just over a week ago, we were awarded the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ (FCM) Sustainable Communities Award as a result of the Belle Park Specialty Tree Planting and Associated Landscaping Project. Raymond Louie, FCM vice-president, highlighted the significance and importance of the award, stating:

These winners show how municipalities across the country are working with local businesses, labour, community organizations and developers to create and carry out sustainable development practices while developing a greener economy for Canada — one project at a time.

In 2009, Kingston was touted as the Smartest City in Canada due in part to the number of Ph.Ds and post-secondary education institutions per capita, and thanks to Mensa Canada’s national headquarters being located here.  For Valentine’s Day 2012, Kingston got up from bended knee to accept the title of Canada’s Most Romantic City, however’s methods for determining this award are arguably lacking validity.  While this city doesn’t always win the top prize, sometimes it’s rather exciting just to be shortlisted amongst the cream of the international crop, such as our recent listing amongst the 21 most intelligent communities around the world.

Considering all these honourable titles, awards and accolades got me thinking about how Kingstonians view their own city, and which distinguished merits they value the most.  With your ideal or hopeful vision for Kingston’s proud future in mind, this week’s question challenges you to complete the following phrase:
[poll id=”147″]
It’s all well and good to dream about a more sustainable, zombie-free city, but let’s take this week’s poll conversation into the thick of things.  Back up your vote and your vision for Kingston to be greener, smarter or whatever with some constructive criticism about how we’re currently failing in that category, as well as your grand scheme to improve things and achieve an enduring standard for other communities to look up to.  If given a blank cheque to focus on one connected aspect of life in the Limestone City, what would you do?

Harvey Kirkpatrick

Harvey Kirkpatrick is Kingstonist's Co-Founder. His features curiously explore urban planning, what if scenarios, the local food scene and notable Kingstonians. Loves playing tourist and listening to rap music. Learn more about Harvey...

4 thoughts on “Kingston: The (insert adjective here) City

  • Green got my vote! Why not start out by finishing projects already underway (ie 1000 solar rooftop challenge). Tons of other initiatives fit into this category: more/better bike lanes, bike sharing, some PARK(ing) days, more locally sourced initiatives for the food industry, more parks and public green spaces (ie why not purchase the Prison Farm land) better waterfront trail, beaches we can actually use. If we're serious about building another stupid bridge, why not make it a toll to help fund some of this stuff. While we're at it, let's tax the Poker Run out of town.

  • I voted for smartest, but I did it because I think a smart city would try to be the greenest, healthiest, safest city around. As a major city employer, maybe the municipality could lead the way with work from home initiatives, better transit and nice safe bike lanes all over town. Keeping the city smart would also mean more support for early learning initiatives and public libraries.

  • Let me confess at the outset that I'm not a "Kingstonian." I live near where the "traffic circle" was, but it was gone before I got here. Sorry.

    I also apologize for not voting. I've lived in other places that I think rate #1 in each category. Again, sorry. Kingston however, rates #2 in most of them — and that's MORE than enough to give it #1 overall.

    I've lived in most regions of Canada, and visited a bunch of other places, but about a decade ago when I came to Kingston (to get some o' that schoolin' y'all got lots of), I decided to stay. I love it here.

    The reason I initially stayed is that Kingston was the perfect size. It WASN'T Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, or Syracuse, but it was close enough for any of their entertainment events. Then suddenly…..the K-Rock Centre appeared and we were getting more awesome entertainment here (sorry Memorial Centre — and MASSIVE hats off to the Downtown folk who bring in/support the Kingston Bluesfest, Buskers, Febfest….).

    Now, if I could only convince myself that pot holes are an art form…..

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