Sudbury letter: A better and bigger idea for the KED

An artist's conception of what the city's Kingsway Entertainment District might look like. City of Greater Sudbury

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Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, “The mind once expanded to the dimensions of bigger ideas, never returns to its original size.”

It’s time for the citizens of the City of Greater Sudbury to expand their minds.

It is a question of economic survival.

We need bigger ideas.

Case in point, the Kingsway Entertainment District.

This may have been a good idea a decade ago, but much has changed.

This property, privately owned and a portion now publicly owned by the taxpayers of this city, needs a bigger idea. It needs an idea that addresses job creation and the opportunity to maximize and build on the expertise and innovation that already exists in the community.

Instead of an arena, a casino and a hotel, how about the Kingsway Environmental District, a centre of excellence for research and development and commercialization of waste/recycle products and intellectual capital development to be sold worldwide?

Think about it.

This property is adjacent to the city dump, is close to the wastewater management centre of the city, has a railroad track adjacent to the property and access to a bypass leading to southern markets and beyond.

The city was developed as a mining centre and has grown into a mining centre of excellence in some minds, but the competition for this moniker is now global. It’s time to think bigger.

Why are we not transferring mining technology and research into environmental technology applications? Why are we not innovating mining processes to mine garbage into product for worldwide distribution?

Why are we not thinking bigger about intellectual capital in mining as part of an environmental complex that would attract and recruit professionals to our city with a background in the environmental sciences and engineering, bringing with them startup and established companies in this growing field of expertise in environmental sustainability?

The layout is there. The city has already purchased acreage for an arena. Why can’t the city think bigger, enjoin Laurentian University and Cambrian and Boreal colleges, and explore with the federal and provincial government funding for a centre of environmental excellence instead of an arena? Why can’t the remaining private ownership involve itself in the recruitment of complementary companies to locate to the city on adjacent private land?

Greater Sudbury has won international environmental wards in the past. There are pockets of environmental companies and groups within the community now. Isn’t it time to collaborate on a bigger idea?

 

Dr. Karen Pappin

Sudbury

 

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