Agree entirely with that, and yet it is only a relatively recent situation.I find that the main problem with the West End is how fractured and low density it feels. You can walk to almost anywhere in the East (Sandyford, Heaton, Byker, possibly Walker) and North (Jesmond, Gosforth etc) of the city from the centre without having to be on a road that isn't a well defined street more than a small handful of times. The city seems to be continuous in that respect and therefore feels connected.
To the West you seem to be able to walk through huge tracts of undefined space (Elswick and Cruddas Park in particular having a lot of this), which like Seamaster's point about the boulevard, makes you feel very disconnected.
If the council looks to start filling in the empty and unused/underused sites closest to town and builds outwards, creating well defined routes to the centre, it would make the West End a much more attractive place to live.
Until the mass destructions of "streets" and replacement of them with a combination of "nothing" and a "big road" and a "one-off buidling" or a "wall" or a "building facing in a different direction to the previous streetscape" (or whatever) that was planned to happen and then happened in the late 60s and early 70s and "contunuously thereafter" - Western Newcastle was every bit as 'connected' together and to the City Centre as North and East Newcastle still is.
To explain that rather long sentence!
When I lived in Elswick in the 60s as a child, I could just walk down decent civilised streets, continuously, down into the City Centre. You would come down (say) Elswick Road (and you could go off in any direction down real joined up "streets", but you could also keep on going up to 'the Big Lamp').
Then, on past the Big Lamp down Westgate Road (the West Road and Elswick Road 'merged' at the Big Lamp heading into town) past an increasing number of shops (including the, still there, bike shops) and into the early parts of the City Centre. You would pass the three cinemas (The Pavilion, The Stoll, The Essoldo) all very civilised . . and then you were into the City Centre.
I chose the 'Elswick Road/Wesgate road' route, but you could use Wesmorland Road (next one South) or Scotswood Road (next one South again) and you could divert off at right angles all the way along ANY of them, and you would still be going down normal civilised STREETS!!!!
OK, it was never a rich/middle class area and a lot of the housing needed replacing (no doubt) but they didn't have to DESTROY the STREETS.
This was a continuous City, it could so easily have remained that, it SHOULD have remained that.
For goodness sake, the MESS it is now in, the separation and the tracts of 'undefined space' are everywhere . . you cannot even walk the short distance to the ARENA (very close to the City Centre) without feeling it!
It is (purely) a 'planned' and 'planning' disaster, continuously (not just 60s and 70s) over the last 40 years or so. It is almost beyond saving. What is worse, I am pretty certain that this separation/devastation/undefined space issue, is not realised /noticed where it matters, and that N O T H I N G is currently being 'planned to be done' to repair it. Nothing.
Rant over . . (not worth ranting, nothing will happen)