The Ambitious City Again

By Jason Leach
Published January 17, 2007

Liberal Party leader Stephane Dion gave an intriguing speech to Toronto's business community recently.

I couldn't help but think, "where have I heard this before?" as he discussed the future economy and how much of it will be tied into renewable technologies and green technologies.

Dr Richard Gilbert prepared a stunning report for Hamilton city council last year entitled The Electric City. In it, he recommended a series of very positive and doable initiatives for Hamilton to focus on to become a leading city in this area.

The fact is, some cities and some nations will become world leaders in sustainable energy production and energy conservation. Those that do will profit greatly. Their businesses, education institutions, tourism industry and plethora of small business and local neighbourhoods will all benefit.

Hamilton experienced this same thing during the Industrial Age on our continent. We weren't just "steeltown". We were a model city, a city that was talked about around the world and used many times as an example and model for other cities to follow.

We really were "The Ambitious City".

Here we stand at another crucial crossroads in the history of Western development. Will we choose to be ambitious once again, as Portland has (and are already being invited to cities all over the world to share their expertise) or will we lag behind trying to be the very last city clinging desperately to the old ways of sprawl, pollution and economic decay as we fall deeper and deeper into debt?

The choice is right in front of us.

Let's resurrect The Electric City motto of our past and lead Canada into the future.

Jason Leach was born and raised in the Hammer and currently lives downtown with his wife and children. You can follow him on twitter.


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