I just stumbled across a neat piece of news the day before City Council is set to receive "consultant" reports recommending that all future job growth take place on greenfield lands in massive one-storey warehouse buildings with nary a mention of rail, sustainability or the energy sector.
A year ago, Dr. Richard Gilbert offered us a much more sustainable and 21st Century vision of Hamilton in his Electric City report of last year. Regarding job creation he urged city council to see the opportunities that exist to become a world leader in renewable energy development, installation, manufacturing and research.
As he put it, "those jobs have to go somewhere. Why not here?"
Portland, Oregon obviously agrees with this sentiment. After becoming the first North American city to build a modern electric streetcar network in their city, they now have North America's first manufacturer of these streetcar systems.
Dozens of cities across North America are planning new modern streetcar lines similar to Portland's. Now, those cities have a local option to buy their streetcars instead of having to rely on European companies to manufacture and ship the systems overseas.
Portland's economy will benefit from the many new streetcar systems coming on stream. After all, the jobs have to go somewhere.
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