Why Not Here?

By Jason Leach
Published January 31, 2007

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.

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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By bsamstag (registered) - website | Posted February 11, 2007 at 14:47:32

Glad to hear that Portland is getting a piece of the action producing Streetcar systems instead of the European or Asiatic builders. But whatever became of the famous car builders in Ohio? Seems like Cleveland and Cinncinatti had a monopoly on streetcar building years ago. One would think that, with the resurgence of interest in decent smogless electric transit, someone in those towns would show an interest in resurrecting long dead industries. Or, did Detroit really kill them so dead that they have no chance for revival?

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