Thursday, March 18, 2010

Oakland: an industrial city?

Forget arguing about 'view corridors'. The real question about Oakland's future is whether it wants to be an industrial city again or not.

An article in the Wall Street Journal says the city wants West Oakland to be a 'clean-technology, manufacturing and industrial hub', but that doesn't sit well with all West Oakland residents. It would, however, be a return to some of West Oakland's historical roots, which besides the western terminus of the transcontinental railroad, had a number of less-clean industries like the Phoenix Iron Works. More recently West Oakland has seen housing being developed.

In the Oakland Tribune, this article talks about the desire to create more housing near the estuary in what's currently largely an industrial area. But Oakland City Councilmember Ignacio De La Fuente is opposed to a similar proposal for the nearby Owens-Brockway Glass Containers plant.

What's the right answer? I don't know enough to know. But I would hate to see the glass recycling plant closed for more housing, as Oakland currently has enough housing even if it's not all affordable, but not enough jobs.

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