Presentation on theme: "Birds Nest A livable city is a diverse one, one that tolerates diversity and has an economic base that is supported by a multitude of economic engines."— Presentation transcript:
Birds Nest A livable city is a diverse one, one that tolerates diversity and has an economic base that is supported by a multitude of economic engines.
Ottawa has at least six engines of economic prosperity: - government, - tourism, - tech, - real estate and construction, - heath and education.
There are hundreds of thousands of sq. ft. of empty office space in Kanata alone; acres of empty workstations where tech workers used to be– it’s scary! What’s next?
We need more entrepreneurs! And they need to create new businesses in areas where ‘all boats are rising’ and where we can compete with US-based, world class firms as well as Chinese and Indian ones…
What are the likely candidates? Education-based firms that specialize in continuing education and training, bio-tech and health, info-tech and the Internet, infotainment, tourism and entertainment, organic foods, transportation, energy and clean-tech and new services.
Any examples? Sure. Let’s have some fun and look at tourism and transportation. Guess the answers!
What does Toronto have that Ottawa doesn’t have? The CN Tower!
It’s a huge tourism attraction and one glimpse of it immediately identifies the city- scape as Toronto’s! It’s 1,815.4 feet tall. It would cost over $300 million to reproduce today. It’s one of the tallest structures on the Planet.
Can we produce a ‘poor person’s’ version of the CN Tower for Ottawa? Yes, we can! How?
It goes up to 500 feet in five minutes, hovers there for five more and descends in five minutes…
It’s a Tethered Gas Balloon! It’s sometimes called a ‘Moored Balloon’.
It’s filled with non-flammable Helium. It is raised based on its buoyancy and lowered by a winch.
It’s quite safe– similar to a cable car in terms of its safety record. (Although if the tether ever snapped, the passengers would head for the stratosphere with unhappy results.)
Because it’s tethered, it can fly in quite high winds (unlike Hot Air Balloons).
Does it make any money? Revenues might look like this:
Are there many installations around the world? You bet.
One day a few years ago, John Davidson* (then Owner of Skyview Ballooning in Ottawa) and the author were chatting about one of John’s ideas– bring a Tethered Gas Balloon (TGB) to Canada’s Capital City. (* John is a fearless daredevil who once flew a hot air balloon over the Arctic Ocean (!) to video polar bears in their natural habitat.)
John mentioned that one of the problems with TGBs is that when moored on the ground (basically held down by cables), the balloons were vulnerable to destruction by winds.
Well, after some discussion, it was thought that if it’s safer inside a nest for birds (from wind, weather and enemies), maybe it would be safer inside a nest for a TGB!
So a nest for a TGB was sketched out and immediately it was apparent that the nest would not only protect the balloon but would also allow a TGB to be deployed in a much smaller space because it would not have these cables splaying out at acute angles when on the ground.
John went on to patent the thing; you can see it on: freepatentsonline.com
A recent proposal to revitalize Lansdowne Park (Lansdowne Live!) in central Ottawa has been put forward by four strong proponents: Minto, Shenkman, Trinity and the Ottawa 67s.
Why not add a nested TGB, guys? Ottawa’s answer to Toronto’s CN Tower! The view of the Rideau Canal, the Parliamentary Precinct and the City’scape would be great and the TGB would be a hit year round and especially on Canada Day and during Winterlude.
Are there any other applications of the nest concept? Guess the answer. (What else flies using Helium and has trouble docking?)
Copyright. Dr. Bruce M. Firestone, Ottawa, Canada. November 2008. Music: Fatboy Slim “Praise You” and “Thus Spoke Zarathustra” – Johan Strauss from the Film, “2001, A Space Odyssey” by Stanley Kubrick, Director, based on the book by Arthur C. Clarke.