Comment 14378

By jason (registered) | Posted November 23, 2007 at 08:52:55

having lived in Portland I can attest to the well-run operation known as the Port of Portland. they have been instrumental in getting light rail to the airport, waterfront districts and business parks. I can also attest to the fact that downtown Portland was a pile of crap in the 70's before they decided to abandon the Los Angeles model of city growth and decided to follow a more European model. As we all know, a city's downtown is it's heart, soul and image. I know dozens of people who have moved to Portland from other parts of the US. All of them cite livable neighbourhoods, great transportation options (unlike Hamilton where we discriminate against anyone who doesn't own a car - how citizen tax dollars are spent in the city's transportation network will back up this point), bustling downtown and that hard to pinpoint 'cool' factor. I've never once heard someone say "I'm going to move to Portland because that marine terminal is so neat". Sure, the marine terminal and airport are a part of their economy, but the city isn't putting all of it's eggs in that basket like Hamilton has. Buffalo has had a booming airport district for years and has been considered an armpit of a city. Only now that they have finally turned their attention (and TAX DOLLARS) to downtown are they starting to receive positive press and seeing people move back to the downtown area. New jobs are coming downtown. New towers are being built. The fact is plain to see all over the world. Downtown must be FIRST priority, then everything else follows. In Hamilton, downtown seems to be near the bottom of the priority list (again, I can say this based on the past 15 years of municipal investment downtown compared with Stoney Creek, Ancaster or the South Mountain). We'll learn eventually. Either now, without aerotropolis, or in 2 decades with aerotropolis anchoring a craptown. Sadly, it sounds like our politicians are too willing to applaud Portland, and then ignore the lessons staring us in the face.

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