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Old 02-23-2014, 06:47 AM
 
Location: Norfolk, VA
6,372 posts, read 5,996,908 times
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I have come to the conclusion that most cities are like most people, and human nature always reigns supreme, regardless of its frailty. In other words, cities throughout the rust belt never diversified because human beings do one thing really well, and are mediocre at a majority of tasks and it is easier to attract people with one industry than to invest the time, energy, and resources, into diversifying an economy that would never diversify naturally. So it was easier for cities like NY and LA to turn around into economic powerhouses earlier on (20s and 30s) and abandon the reliance on manufacturing that trapped many Midwestern cities.

Now you could also argue that Midwestern cities already had a firm hold on manufacturing, at least with respect to the automobile industry and the steel industry (which can be seen as an auxiliary industry to the automobile industry) and there was no need for the Northeast or the West to become as heavily involved, and were forced to look at other options. It is like, if you are making boat loads of money, why take chances on bets that will not pay off for several decades? Just like human beings do, cities are eventually forced to reinvent themselves, and the options other cities take for granted, like NY and LA, are not always available.

To make a long story short, cities can have myopic, introverted, narcissistic and belligerent personalities. People always assume, we have a lot of people, times are great. Other people just want to stay in their comfort zone.

I mean look at Detroit and it's resistance to change. Does it really mean anything for its residents to own a prolific art collection if the city is broke? There are a million things that city could do but no one wants to do any of these things because they are an admission of failure, and would mean a turn away from the old guard, where the city is predominately Black, where the city is urban, and where the city would be ran a particular way. Urban farming comes to mind but there are other options as well.
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Old 02-23-2014, 06:52 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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Seattle is a great case study for this, thanks to Boeing, Seattle was known as the Jet City because they were basically a one industry town, when that began to crumble Seattle looked to diversify its economy to prevent what happened in the 70s from ever happening again, and today Seattle has a strong and growing diverse economy in a city that is on part to becoming a world class city (whatever that means.)
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Old 02-23-2014, 06:59 AM
 
Location: Norfolk, VA
6,372 posts, read 5,996,908 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
Seattle is a great case study for this, thanks to Boeing, Seattle was known as the Jet City because they were basically a one industry town, when that began to crumble Seattle looked to diversify its economy to prevent what happened in the 70s from ever happening again, and today Seattle has a strong and growing diverse economy in a city that is on part to becoming a world class city (whatever that means.)
They were smart enough to get out while the getting was good. Midwestern cities, outside of Chicago, and then you have state capitals like Indy and Columbus, just cannot seem to get their houses in order. A lot of cities like Akron and Cleveland are getting heavy into medical industries, but it is either too little, too late, or there is not enough to go around.

Another cold reality is that the newer industries require a lot of education and you cannot easily train anyone to do this type of work, whatever it may be.
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Old 02-23-2014, 07:06 AM
 
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A lot of Rust Belt cities had other industries as well in regards to higher education, healthcare, engineering, etc. I think manufacturing had such a dominate presence in these areas, that many people outside of these areas may not know that these other industries exist in those areas.
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:36 AM
 
Location: Norfolk, VA
6,372 posts, read 5,996,908 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
A lot of Rust Belt cities had other industries as well in regards to higher education, healthcare, engineering, etc. I think manufacturing had such a dominate presence in these areas, that many people outside of these areas may not know that these other industries exist in those areas.
Other industries require an education, manufacturing allowed people without an education to get in on the bottom floor and work their way up.

But you are right, and that is one of the things I do not understand about C-D. People assume, that if they are a singer, for example, they MUST live in a town known for entertainment. But there are people singing everywhere, and you can make a name for yourself anywhere, thanks to the Internet. Talented, determined, people will rise to the top and make their own way, whether they live in a large, diverse, town or not. Everyone else needs assistance, they need to be pushed and pulled and prodded.

The Rust Belt benefited from two things; favorable working conditions (or so people thought in contrast to where they were coming from), and an environment where people could reach their own potential. Many people worked those factories and took what they learned and went off and started other businesses. Ironically, people are still looking for that next great labor opportunity, and their mindset is not any different than those of their forefathers in the fifties looking for work up North. But college graduates are looking for the next Atlanta, Houston, Phoenix or Denver. One can only hope they take their skills and return to their small towns and cities and bring about change but too often it is just easier to stay where you're at.
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:41 AM
 
Location: Norfolk, VA
6,372 posts, read 5,996,908 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
A lot of Rust Belt cities had other industries as well in regards to higher education, healthcare, engineering, etc. I think manufacturing had such a dominate presence in these areas, that many people outside of these areas may not know that these other industries exist in those areas.
I have also noticed that the Rust Belt cities have a very difficult time getting this message out to the public. They do not have the money to throw at campaigns, and they do not have the cooperation of the media. So you end up with small grassroots campaigns on YouTube, or a push through the local media (usually the same media that demonizes and condemns the city in its own backyard) that are largely forgotten and hidden in plain sight. A Rust Belt city would have to host the Olympics, and even then it may not make that much of a difference.

Instead, the Rust Belt is the butt of a joke. Particularly Ohio. and while this does pique the curiosity of a few, that message is easily forgotten when everything on TV and in the movies is set in NY, LA, Atlanta, or Miami.
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Old 02-23-2014, 06:14 PM
 
2,941 posts, read 3,857,480 times
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It isn’t that the cities were dependent on industry. All cities depend on some sort of industry even if that industry is something like the financial or entertainment industry. The problem is when a town depends on a single industry far too much. When that single industry changes or fails there is nothing else to fall back on and the damage is far greater. Being dependent on one industry makes it hard to manage the fall.

Diversified doesn’t mean lack of industry. It means don’t put too many eggs in one basket. New York was well diversified before the 20th century. The Erie cannel turned it into a shipping powerhouse. It also helped the cities on the great lake as grain and other items were ship to those cities for export to the rest of the world. It had Wall Street as well as manufacturing of its own.

What keeps a city from falling too far is being able to change or Adapt to the next thing before it is too late. In the case of Chicago (and many other cities) the river is why there is an city here (Transportation hub). Linking the Chicago River to the Mississippi river system allowed goods to go from as far south as New Orleans to other cities and other cities like Cleveland on the Ohio.

Rail powered an explosion in cities like Chicago and Detroit and Detroit’s location was ideal for the Auto industry. It needed people to put the cars together (density), transportation to get raw materials in(esp. Steel) and finished products out.

What separated Chicago from Detroit is that Chicago’s boom lasted longer. Chicago’s boom started in the 1850’s with the rail industry then the meat industry and grew till the 1950ies. It allowed the city to get many more different types of industries into town such as print, meat packing as well as manufacturing and finance.

As manufacturing began to fall post 1950, Chicago had time to adjust. The meat packing industry for instance was being made obsolete by the highway system and refrigerated trucking (such that you no longer needed to put a meat packing plant in a major city.) However the steel industry does not start declining till the 1970ies. This allowed time to manage things by replacing some of the lost jobs with new industries and projects like O’Hare Airport, UIC, and the Medical District.

Detroit’s boom happened latter than Chicago’s boom and was fueled by the rise of the Auto Industry and the Auto Industry was strong till the 1970ies. There were Auto plants elsewhere (and there still is one in Chicago) but the Auto industry more than anything else made modern Detroit. Detroit has some financial industry but wasn’t as good at replacing the loss industry with other things and it allowed the big 3 to move their assembly plants out of the city. Detroit had little to fall back on and little time to do it.
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Old 02-23-2014, 11:05 PM
 
Location: Chandler, AZ
5,802 posts, read 5,461,266 times
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Indy and Columbus have both been gaining population for decades as opposed to faltering cities such as Detroit, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Chicago, and are both exceptional cities for real estate investors as opposed to those other cities.

Put it this way---the last time Chicago's current population was as low as it is now as a recent editorial in the Chicago Tribune pointed out, Mickey Rooney was a toddler, and Zsa Zsa Gabor was 3 years old.

Ms. Gabor celebrated her 97th birthday on February 6th, while Mr. Rooney will be 94 in September.

You do the math.

If you want to compare two cities which are barely 350 miles apart yet which have been going in opposite directions in terms of diversity and thriving economies, compare Houston & New Orleans, with the former on track to overtake Chicago in population within the next 20-30 years.
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Old 02-24-2014, 11:00 AM
 
Location: Norfolk, VA
6,372 posts, read 5,996,908 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marv101 View Post
Indy and Columbus have both been gaining population for decades as opposed to faltering cities such as Detroit, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Chicago, and are both exceptional cities for real estate investors as opposed to those other cities.

Put it this way---the last time Chicago's current population was as low as it is now as a recent editorial in the Chicago Tribune pointed out, Mickey Rooney was a toddler, and Zsa Zsa Gabor was 3 years old.

Ms. Gabor celebrated her 97th birthday on February 6th, while Mr. Rooney will be 94 in September.

You do the math.

If you want to compare two cities which are barely 350 miles apart yet which have been going in opposite directions in terms of diversity and thriving economies, compare Houston & New Orleans, with the former on track to overtake Chicago in population within the next 20-30 years.
Part of that growth is annexation. Also, if you read it closely, I wasn't making that case for Indianapolis and Columbus. I acknowledge their growth I was talking about everywhere else.
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