ACCENT: Inside-out city [economic challeges of Sudbury geography] – by Mike Whitehouse (Sudbury Star – July 30, 2011)
The mining supply and service industry evolved on its own … In Sudbury, this sector
employs 13,800 people and generates $3.94 billion in economic activity…. Under the
radar, this rag-tag group of largely family-run fabricators, welders, communications
experts, technologists, engineers and suppliers spread across the city have taken
on a life of their own. These businesses share common causes and face common
challenges. They have developed their own networks, working relationships and de
facto strategies designed to meet these challenges. And, at least in the beginning,
they did so without encouragement or help from anyone.
(Mike Whitehouse – July 30, 2011 – Sudbury Star)
Look at a Google satellite map of northeastern Ontario, down onto a landscape without labels. The most visible feature is a wide, grey scar to the south cut into the Canadian Shield. Free of political boundaries, this is how the world knows Sudbury.
Zoom in a little closer and Greater Sudbury appears as a gormless sea of blobs, shapes and lines, islands adrift in the deep green Boreal forest. Look down on most Ontario cities and you’ll see patterns emerge. Confined urban matrixes with patches of remna nt forest and wetlands inside. From above, these cities define themselves. They have beginnings and ends.
Greater Sudbury is the opposite. It is nothing more than patches of development cut out of the endless Boreal forest, arbitrarily confined to borders that climb like a staircase to the northeast. It’s like taking any other city and turning it inside-out, and wondering why it doesn’t look right. Read the rest of this entry »