CAMPP Warning of Trickle Down Caused by Hospital Move

The Citizens for an Accountable Mega Hospital Planning Process group is pointing to a new book by an American urban planning expert as an example for Windsor.

Alan Mallach recently released "The Divided City: Poverty and Prosperity in Urban America" which outlines the role universities and hospitals play in driving growth in city cores.

Shane Mitchell is with CAMPP and says "meds and eds" draw young, educated people to cities while also providing employment opportunities for lower income residents doing jobs like cleaning or serving food.

Mitchell says pulling the Ouellette Campus from Windsor's downtown core is going to create some big barriers for those low-income people looking to get to work.

"A lot of these institutions employ quite a few people who might not have that PhD," says Mitchell.  "Cleaning staff, maintenance staff. These are really good jobs. So if you move a hospital away from the city centre and you move it to a remote location that requires a one-hour bus ride, that doesn't do very much for those people who are lower income folks."

Mitchell says medical and educational institutions provide solid community anchors.

"The concept of 'meds and eds' is that if you have these medical or educational institutions, generally, they don't go anywhere," says Mitchell.  "They are static. They are very important institutions within their community and they can act as these neighbourhood anchors, these community anchors."

He says hospitals and post-secondary institutions have helped turn many cities around.

"It's become really apparent that medical institutions and educational institutions are really, really important to city centres and particularly in former manufacturing giants like Detroit, Buffalo, Chicago, Windsor and Hamilton," says Mitchell.

While the issue of access to health care is paramount, Mitchell believes the trickle down effect of moving Windsor's hospital to the city's outskirts is being overlooked.

The proposed location for the new mega hospital is on County Rd. 42 and the 9th Concession.

CAMPP is appealing the zoning change which allows for the construction of the facility.