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Old 01-30-2015, 12:40 AM
Location: bend oregon
930 posts, read 846,793 times
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some city's by the ocean will disappear from the water rizing or earthquakes and inlland cities will have to get bigger. china already have it planned if something happens. theres some ghost city's inland
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Old 01-30-2015, 01:11 AM
1,478 posts, read 2,006,351 times
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Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
I think we will see an increase of light rail and streetcar lines in a number of these cities to help boost their attractiveness to similar size competing cities.

I think what we will start seeing in this country is the people who want that big city, NYC or SF, lifestyle but can't afford to live in those places, so they turn to the next best thing and start to make smaller big cities and medium size cities more of a hotspot destination to live and work.

Plus, it isn't like our population is shrinking.
I'd think we'll definitely see some better transportation offered up that will be appropriate with the density profile of each urban core/metro. Whether that is streetcar, light rail, BRT, or just more regular bus service will depend upon employment and residential density.

I'd also like to think that people will give these cities a shot, but I'm skeptical we'll see that in huge numbers. There are a lot of places for people to go. For people sick of BOS, NYC, DC prices, they might want to stay in the region. Philly and Baltimore are much more affordable. Chicago is too, relatively speaking. ATL, DAL, HOU, etc have better growth and warmer weather. Places like Raleigh Durham and Madison have a well educated work force and certain quality of life advantages. A lot of my friends out there are looking at other places that aren't on the radar as much like Albany, Providence, more industrial parts of CT, etc. There are also cities like DEN and PHX that seem to be drawing a lot of Midwesterners. Bottom line is that people will go where the jobs are. Time will tell. I think it starts with more young workers deciding to stay home (or in the region).
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Old 01-30-2015, 05:50 AM
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
4,897 posts, read 7,671,799 times
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The areas that I expect to struggle are those cities that are a notch below these that lack major universities: Dayton, Akron, Toledo, Youngstown, Terre Haute, Flint, etc. Metros of this size that lack a flagship academic institution in the middle of the country are pretty much toast.[/quote]

I don't know, Canton has also made some progress with revitalizing/gentrifying its downtown, and it doesn't have any higher education institutions of significant size.

I agree that these smaller cities will struggle more for their revitalization, simply because they won't be able to sustain the large number of jobs they once did with manufacturing. But I believe at least some of them will revitalize. As I've said, it's happening in Youngstown and Canton. I believe it's happening in Akron, as well. (I don't know enough about Dayton or Toledo, to say one way or the other) It's just that it's happening much more slowly in these cities. It's also happening on a smaller scale, obviously, since these are smaller cities, so the progress that's made is often less noteworthy than the large projects happening in larger cities.
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Old 01-30-2015, 08:40 AM
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,472 posts, read 11,970,443 times
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I actually think visionary political leadership matters little in terms of cities turning around. DC wasn't known for having great political leadership, but it made one of the most stunning turnarounds over the last 20 years. Hell, the "recovery" of my adopted hometown of Pittsburgh mostly took place under a Mayor who was widely seen as a total joke.

Any reasonably sized city in the modern era can (provided enough old urban amenities survived urban renewal) make itself more competitive as a living option versus the surrounding suburbs. But this will be a very slow recovery indeed unless the job market in the metro is also great. And at least on the white collar level we're seeing increasing job concentration these days. Major employers want to be in a city with a major airport - particularly one with international flights. They know they'll get better applicants for open positions if they locate there, both because more people will apply, and because people with high levels of education and competence are attracted to major cities.

With this dynamic, most smaller cities are screwed. They can't grow their professional economy much, which means they can't attract that many new residents. There are exceptions, of course, which I'll outline below.

1. Gritty small cities which have a university (New Haven, CT, Lancaster, PA, Bethlehem, PA, or Lowell, MA, for example), have made a comeback, all having neighborhoods which are what we would term "gentrified" now. Basically the "college town in the city" aspects help attract enough other people from the metro who want to live and/or shop in a vibrant, walkable, urban area, which in turn fuels the comeback a bit more. But this has a plateau - demand just isn't high enough to gentrify the whole city.

2. Similar to the college town thing, state capitols have a high concentration of professional jobs - enough to spur a minor amount of gentrification. Few people realize this, but there are small, gentrified, historic neighborhoods in both Harrisburg and Trenton. Again, this demand simply isn't enough to gentrify more than a small portion of the city however.

3. Smaller cities within major metros (such as Hoboken, NJ, Somerville, MA, or Oakland, CA) can have gentrification because they can effectively operate as suburbs within the metro. They might not have a lot of jobs per se, but they are close to jobs and offer a nice walkable experience.

4. Smaller cities can survive on tourism. Taos and Asheville are great examples. Charleston, SC is one of the larger ones, but the raw population numbers are a bit misleading, because the old urban core is much smaller than the city limits. This doesn't provide many good-paying jobs however. Worse, these cities often become desirable places for retirees, which drives up real estate prices beyond what the local job market can sustain, thus making it an expensive place to live for the low-paid service workers who have to live there.
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