British Columbia

Sam Adams, former Portland mayor, 'inspired' by Vancouver

Portland, Oregon is known around the world for transit-oriented development, a progressive approach to ending homelessness and keeping it weird, but its former mayor Sam Adams said it has a few lessons to learn from Vancouver, B.C.

Sam Adams says he's envious of Vancouver's craft beer and mayor Gregor Robertson

Sam Adams, who was really the mayor of Portland, Oregon from 2009 to 2012, plays the mayor's assistant on the TV show Portlandia. (IFC)

Portland, Oregon is known around the world for transit-oriented development, a progressive approach to ending homelessness and keeping it weird, but its former mayor Sam Adams said it has a few lessons to learn from Vancouver, B.C.

Adams was the mayor of Portland from 2009 to 2012 and he's also well known for playing the mayor's assistant on TV show Portlandia.

"We're more likely to look for inspiration here in Vancouver, British Columbia than we are to the east in the United States," he told The Early Edition's Rick Cluff.

"Our values are similar. Obviously our climate, our terrain is similar. I think the high expectations we have for ourselves as cities is similar as well. We're not the razzle dazzle of San Francisco, we're the Pacific Northwest."

Now the director of the U.S Climate Initiative, Adams is in Vancouver to speak at a U.B.C. symposium on sustainability and the Pacific Northwest

He told The Early Edition's Rick Cluff there are a few things he's envious of when he visits Vancouver.

1. Craft beer

Former Portland mayor Sam Adams said he's looking forward to sampling the many craft beers brewed in Vancouver. (Bernt Rostad/Flickr)

Portland is well known as a mecca for craft beer, but the former mayor is envious of Vancouver's quickly growing brewery scene.

"We have 128 breweries, you probably have 4,000 for all I know. I'm going to try to hit a few while I'm here — do my part for the economy."

2. The mayor

Portland's former mayor Sam Adams says he's a "big fan" of Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

Adams calls himself a "big fan" of Gregor Robertson, who he said he's shown around Portland several times.

"He is so much smarter and better looking that I am. There's no comparison!"

3. Big ideas

Adams said Portland's city council often looks to Vancouver for inspiration when it comes to planning decisions. (Ariane Colenbrander/Flickr)

Like Vancouver, Portland's city council has an agenda that promotes environmental sustainability, transit, biking and new solutions for to end homelessness.

"I come up here and my folks come up here and steal every good idea you've got and try to learn from every mistake you've made," he said.

"We're a much smaller city than you are, but if we can offer up those kinds of lessons, we're here to help."

To hear the full interview with former Portland Mayor, Sam Adams, click the audio labelled: Former Portland Mayor Sam Adams.


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