Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 2 Hansard (18 March) . . Page.. 392..
Portland made the decision to invest early in light rail within their city centre and this investment then provided certainty for the private sector to redevelop some of the most underutilised and run-down areas of the city. Further afield, the light rail lines were extended out of the city, providing commuter access to the headquarters for internationally renowned companies like Nike and Intel that have set up in the area. I was able to witness firsthand as workers from these areas were brought to light rail stations by shuttle bus to then make their way home after work.
It is very clear to me that this joined up, long-term approach to strategic planning and investment has a profound impact on the city centre and the broader regional economy. More people are now choosing to live in central Portland and the character of the city centre has changed immeasurably. What was once unsafe and run down is now thriving. Mixed use developments have brought new employment opportunities to the heart of the city and the presence of new residents ensures a sense of community and the night-time economy of the city centre has increased dramatically.
Although the focus of the next stage of the visit, to San Francisco, was to promote Canberra's burgeoning high-tech industries, shortly after arriving I again saw firsthand the benefits of investment in light rail and the opportunities presented by transit-oriented development.
We met with Pat Tangen, a principal with Populous, which is one of the world's leading design firms with an impressive portfolio of stadium developments across the globe. Mr Tangen gave our group a guided tour of San Francisco's AT&T Park, which is the home to the San Francisco Giants Major League Baseball team. Whilst there were many impressive aspects to this particular development, three stood out: the light rail line running past the front entrance to the stadium; the impressive view from the stadium to San Francisco Bay; and the level of development that has occurred around the stadium since its construction. It is quite easy to draw parallels between this development and what we are hoping to achieve through city to the lake.
I was also fortunate to be able to spend a day in Silicon Valley, where I met with a number of senior executives at Cisco's head offices to discuss the latest technological advances and the potential for increased Cisco investment in the ACT region. The work that Cisco are doing is undoubtedly world leading and very exciting. It is easy to draw a line to many opportunities that enhanced digitisation of government services will bring, in terms of both an improved service offering for our citizens and through improved productivity within our public service. Cisco's "Internet of Everything" promises to change the way we interact at every level and there are many lessons to take forward in how we plan and develop our city.
I also met with the Director of the Office of Technology Licensing at Stanford University, and with a number of influential members of the technology and tech-based venture capital sectors.
I have to admit that it was both daunting and a little heartening to sit in the same offices where the founders of Facebook first pitched their idea, and then hear of the $87 million that Stanford received last year in gross royalties from the 622 different technologies they had licensed.
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