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Old 01-19-2018, 06:58 PM
 
349 posts, read 191,814 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepless in Bham View Post
In light of yesterday's loss of the Amazon bid. It seems that Birmingham is content on only being known for its food scene and civil rights history. Our civil rights history has become more of a negative for most people it's seems than a positive. That era is used against us by other cities even though it doesn't represent what Birmingham is in 2018. It's like reminding someone how much they used to drink even though they haven't had a drink in almost 60 years. How many years, decades, generations must past before this city can finally break its ties to that dark period in history?

Our food scene, while awesome and is nationally recognized, doesn't do much when it comes to creating the high paying jobs this area desperately needs. Sure it's cool to have the variety of options we have for a city our size but what good is it when a significant portion of the population can't even afford to walk in the door, much less enjoy a meal?

Can Birmingham be known as a tech hub, or a media production hub, a major transportation hub? etc?
I love this thread because it gets to the heart of Birmingham's future and the complex questions that it has had to deal with over the last several decades. These questions are often presented as simple and without nuance and that is not the reality. My answer is yes it will (and is) be known for more than civil rights and it is not a negative nor should we regard it as such. Birmingham is literally known as the unquestioned epicenter for the civil rights movement through sheer violence and blood shed in the city streets in the battle for human rights and the ground zero over the soul of American democratic republic that deeply changed the world forever....literally. Few cities around the country have a history as weighty and consequential regarding American history (Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Washington D.C. This is certainly not a point of shame and as other posters alluded is a point of pride and consequence for the city and the metro. Most (not all) who have such an issue with our civil rights heritage quite frankly have deep seeded problems with all Americans having civil rights and that is beyond the scope of a city or metro to solve on an individual level. Other cities using that heritage as a negative are simply playing the game of city versus city booster-ism and most have no Civil Rights heritage to speak of with the exception of Atlanta or Memphis mainly and neither suffered the level of violence and struggle or have the history of Birmingham in that regard so they must take an aggressive approach to level the playing field with Birmingham in that regard. Fair game Birmingham should take just an aggressive posture regarding it's Civil Rights legacy to combat the booster-ism. Regarding Birmingham's identity I agree with the poster about our hills and Iron city identity but beyond that we have lacked an identity. What does our music or the energy of the city sound like? Our food? etc. Lately we have shot into another atmosphere in that regard. Nashville is country and honky tonk, and we have developed a very soulful jazzy/bluesy/soulful sound (Ruben Studdard, StPaul & the Broken Bones) reminiscent of Detroit soul. Nowhere in the South has that kind of distinct sound that is grassroots at that. As long as the music scene gets cultivated we have nothing to fret about regarding our burgeoning identity. The culinary scene is pretty similar in it's development, most are aware of how diverse and deep our food bench is and I would put it up against the best in the country without hesitation. I think we are very underrated concerning transportation. Our interstate system is too centrally located to not be a hub primary or secondary at some point. Once our infrastructure improves( 20/59 bridges, Port Birmingham (Birmingport)expansion for container traffic on the Warrior River, Kaiser property at Shuttlesworth International,I-422) it will see a significant uptick in volume in the city and metro. Quietly it seems on the interstates it already has.
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Old 01-20-2018, 12:26 PM
 
Location: Jack-town, Sip by way of TN, AL and FL
1,377 posts, read 1,005,257 times
Reputation: 2162
Quote:
Originally Posted by cherokee48 View Post
I love this thread because it gets to the heart of Birmingham's future and the complex questions that it has had to deal with over the last several decades. These questions are often presented as simple and without nuance and that is not the reality. My answer is yes it will (and is) be known for more than civil rights and it is not a negative nor should we regard it as such. Birmingham is literally known as the unquestioned epicenter for the civil rights movement through sheer violence and blood shed in the city streets in the battle for human rights and the ground zero over the soul of American democratic republic that deeply changed the world forever....literally. Few cities around the country have a history as weighty and consequential regarding American history (Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Washington D.C. This is certainly not a point of shame and as other posters alluded is a point of pride and consequence for the city and the metro. Most (not all) who have such an issue with our civil rights heritage quite frankly have deep seeded problems with all Americans having civil rights and that is beyond the scope of a city or metro to solve on an individual level. Other cities using that heritage as a negative are simply playing the game of city versus city booster-ism and most have no Civil Rights heritage to speak of with the exception of Atlanta or Memphis mainly and neither suffered the level of violence and struggle or have the history of Birmingham in that regard so they must take an aggressive approach to level the playing field with Birmingham in that regard. Fair game Birmingham should take just an aggressive posture regarding it's Civil Rights legacy to combat the booster-ism. Regarding Birmingham's identity I agree with the poster about our hills and Iron city identity but beyond that we have lacked an identity. What does our music or the energy of the city sound like? Our food? etc. Lately we have shot into another atmosphere in that regard. Nashville is country and honky tonk, and we have developed a very soulful jazzy/bluesy/soulful sound (Ruben Studdard, StPaul & the Broken Bones) reminiscent of Detroit soul. Nowhere in the South has that kind of distinct sound that is grassroots at that. As long as the music scene gets cultivated we have nothing to fret about regarding our burgeoning identity. The culinary scene is pretty similar in it's development, most are aware of how diverse and deep our food bench is and I would put it up against the best in the country without hesitation. I think we are very underrated concerning transportation. Our interstate system is too centrally located to not be a hub primary or secondary at some point. Once our infrastructure improves( 20/59 bridges, Port Birmingham (Birmingport)expansion for container traffic on the Warrior River, Kaiser property at Shuttlesworth International,I-422) it will see a significant uptick in volume in the city and metro. Quietly it seems on the interstates it already has.
Do you even paragraph bro?

Other than that, I agree with your ideas, but can that provide an economy? And if it can, will the agitators allow money to be made off of it? I can certainly hear the whining about the exploitation of the civil rights struggle.
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Old 01-20-2018, 12:51 PM
 
Location: Atlanta, Birmingham, Charlotte, and Raleigh
2,580 posts, read 1,867,600 times
Reputation: 1598
Honestly, I feel like Birmingham will continue to be on the upswing of things. Also the tech startup scene is growing and the Innovation Depot is one of the largest innovation centers in the Southeast with over 100 startups. Also the culinary scene here is booming with the Pizitiz Food Hall and the development of the other places in around the City Center, Avondale, and other neighborhoods. Furthermore, UAB and its associated hospitals and clinics are still on the pulse of healthcare and research development for cancer, AIDS/HIV, etc.

The World Games is going to be 2021, so it will be a huge draw to the city for sports tourism in addition to the existing sports events at Barber Motorsports Park, Talladega Superspeedway, Birmingham Bowl, and the UAB athletic games. The requirements and amount of publicity that will come from that event alone would require a lot of regional cooperation and state coordination to secure funding for the need sports venues, entertainment venues, etc. I feel this most of all will push Birmingham to be come aggressive as city to attract a variety of things including more educated talent and associated industries.
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Old 01-20-2018, 02:56 PM
 
Location: Jack-town, Sip by way of TN, AL and FL
1,377 posts, read 1,005,257 times
Reputation: 2162
Quote:
Originally Posted by jero23 View Post
Honestly, I feel like Birmingham will continue to be on the upswing of things. Also the tech startup scene is growing and the Innovation Depot is one of the largest innovation centers in the Southeast with over 100 startups. Also the culinary scene here is booming with the Pizitiz Food Hall and the development of the other places in around the City Center, Avondale, and other neighborhoods. Furthermore, UAB and its associated hospitals and clinics are still on the pulse of healthcare and research development for cancer, AIDS/HIV, etc.

The World Games is going to be 2021, so it will be a huge draw to the city for sports tourism in addition to the existing sports events at Barber Motorsports Park, Talladega Superspeedway, Birmingham Bowl, and the UAB athletic games. The requirements and amount of publicity that will come from that event alone would require a lot of regional cooperation and state coordination to secure funding for the need sports venues, entertainment venues, etc. I feel this most of all will push Birmingham to be come aggressive as city to attract a variety of things including more educated talent and associated industries.
This is my point.....Birmingham is simply the center of the state of Alabama....the big metro area where people come to do stuff that you can't do in surrounding areas.

None of this distinguishes Birmingham OUTSIDE the state. Yeah the world games, Barber, Talladega and B'ham Bowl are great, so is UAB, but those aren't distinguishing traits.

Don't get me wrong....those are all great things.....but what can jumpstart REAL growth, to take that next step?

Bitcoin maybe?? hahaha
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Old 01-20-2018, 03:06 PM
 
7,945 posts, read 3,709,355 times
Reputation: 24020
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mississippi Alabama Line View Post
This is my point.....Birmingham is simply the center of the state of Alabama....the big metro area where people come to do stuff that you can't do in surrounding areas.

None of this distinguishes Birmingham OUTSIDE the state. Yeah the world games, Barber, Talladega and B'ham Bowl are great, so is UAB, but those aren't distinguishing traits.

Don't get me wrong....those are all great things.....but what can jumpstart REAL growth, to take that next step?

Bitcoin maybe?? hahaha
In truth, you could say the same thing about most major cities in the country. Indianapolis? Go there a lot on biz, yet it has no real discernible identity, which earns it the name Indian No Place. Kansas City? Some cool stuff, but outside of their version of barbecue and the pro teams? Denver. Mountains. Minneapolis. Bitter cold and people who talk like something out of Fargo. Charlotte? Las Vegas? And the list goes on of cities that get known for one thing and one thing only.

That's why cities try so hard to field a pro team, because an NFL or MLB franchise gives a city identity. Otherwise, they are an anonymous city on the American landscape. Switch Indianapolis's city limit signs with Columbus, Ohio, and a dozen other cities through the Midwest and Great Plains, and you'll fool a lot of people.

In that sense, Birmingham isn't that different. Yet it is different at the same time. For Birmingham kind of represents a different side to American history, one where we grew at a time when the surrounding areas did not, then stagnated when the surrounding areas began to edge their way out of the generations of funk that began with Reconstruction. It's a place of Civil Rights and labor union rights, immigration and parochialism, economic expansion and economic exploitation, struggle and harmony, good and evil living, all cheek to jowl the way melody and countermelody provide for richer music. And, through much of our history, especially in that period from 1929 to 1971, we were the object lesson of when a community makes the wrong choices and has the wrong leaders. So much of our history has been counter to the history of the country, where cities have known almost nothing but linear upward growth.

Last edited by MinivanDriver; 01-20-2018 at 03:31 PM..
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Old 01-20-2018, 06:19 PM
 
7,351 posts, read 4,578,916 times
Reputation: 9862
Quote:
Originally Posted by NC211 View Post
Given what Raleigh has become in the past 5 years for tech, I'd never say never about B'ham. You just never know.
Actually, the Research Triangle Park (RTP) in the Triangle (Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill) was created in 1959, so they have almost 60 years of experience/growth to get where they are. Ironically over the past 5-10 years, many of the big tech companies there, like IBM, have been downsizing and have nowhere near the amount of employees they did, say in the 70's, 80's, and 90's.

Of course, there has been small/med tech companies formed and/or relocated to that area, but you are looking at something that has been going for awhile now. I'm not saying something similar couldn't happen in Bham, but it would take decades if not more and it helped having UNC, NC State and Duke all right there.
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Old 01-20-2018, 11:28 PM
 
349 posts, read 191,814 times
Reputation: 197
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mississippi Alabama Line View Post
Do you even paragraph bro?

Other than that, I agree with your ideas, but can that provide an economy? And if it can, will the agitators allow money to be made off of it? I can certainly hear the whining about the exploitation of the civil rights struggle.
Now that you mentioned it I don't think I have lol, duly noted

As far as providing an economy I think it can and will. The question of whether Birmingham will be known for a singular industry or more like the modern American city with a diversified economy will be answered in due time. For my money I see it probably having a pretty diverse economy and perhaps having a most well known or better yet successful industry in the area. It could very be bio medical from UAB's influence or tech as that becomes more of a factor in the city or perhaps a startup like Shipt in some service industry. I look at that new Norfolk Southern intermodal facility in McCalla and how it has impacted the region's capabilities as far as transportation and see that as an area poised for growth. I understand your concern about agitators standing in the way of progress, as long as it's not a stakeholder (City of Birmingham, Jefferson County, Alabama etc.) I wouldn't worry about it much. Those types of problems have been what this generation of Birmingham residents have finally solved.

I see Birmingham's sports identity as pretty well rounded but needing a spark. As one poster mentioned B'ham Bowl, Talladega, Bama Gand Prix(Indycar), Davis Cup, US Women's soccer, Birmingham Legion FC (I love the crest, Boxing, World Games). The scene is surprisingly diverse and well cultured for such a southern city. The next part of Birmingham's sports identity will develop and become much more prominent will ironically be a return to it's roots. The city used to be known as the football capital of the south and had quite a reputation as a neutral site for college football and if not for fumbles by leadership in the 50's and 60's would have possibly been a location for pro ball as well. I might be out on a limb here but no state is as football crazed as Alabama from what I've seen. With the new stadium at uptown (hopefully a dome or if open air olympic style so we don't get rained on!) the metro once again can make itself a significant player on the national stage in college football. I'm pretty sure that the metro is close to the top when it comes to viewership for college football and no other big metro (1 million plus) has the college football pedigree that Birmingham does. The best and most consequential rivalry in all of college sports and probably sports in general (Iron Bowl) was built by B'ham iron and that impact dominates the SEC and college football even now. As much as Birmingham is maligned for only now getting ready to build a new facility it is probably the biggest economic development project that will be undertaken this year and perhaps the decade. It will probably be here at least 50 years (or 100) and will put Birmingham's sports world on a stage it hasn't seen since the Iron Bowl left the city. It would not be out of the question to see the city have more than one bowl game, or a kickoff game or an upgraded B'ham Bowl with a better facility and that could start upon completion of the stadium in a couple of years. That would have a HUGE impact on Birmingham's sports identity and would probably come to define it (major college football neutral site) until something on the professional level comes around.
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Old 01-21-2018, 08:52 AM
 
Location: North of Birmingham, AL
689 posts, read 437,844 times
Reputation: 848
I think Birmingham simply suffers in many ways from being in Alabama, which most of the country sees as a redneck backwater full of racist hicks... maybe one step barely above Mississippi. Other states, or at least cities in those states, have managed to shed that image. It would be interesting to know how Atlanta managed to shrug off surrounding Georgia stereotypes and boom? How are the cities in Tennessee doing it? Is the problem mainly our balkanized municipalities? I'm struggling to think of another significant southern city like Birmingham, where the core city is almost entirely poor.

Birmingham has a lot going for it. The setting among the wooded hills and ridges is really beautiful. The climate is decent and not as oppressive as many other parts of the south closer to the coasts. Easy driving distance to the beach, the bigger mountains, Atlanta, and New Orleans. We SHOULD be doing better!
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Old 01-21-2018, 08:57 AM
 
Location: United States
11 posts, read 6,586 times
Reputation: 78
Birmingham is a "National Food Center?" I've never heard that claim.


What is the signature dish/style of food?
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Old 01-21-2018, 09:32 AM
 
294 posts, read 208,136 times
Reputation: 273
Quote:
Originally Posted by BamaDave View Post
I think Birmingham simply suffers in many ways from being in Alabama, which most of the country sees as a redneck backwater full of racist hicks... maybe one step barely above Mississippi. Other states, or at least cities in those states, have managed to shed that image. It would be interesting to know how Atlanta managed to shrug off surrounding Georgia stereotypes and boom? How are the cities in Tennessee doing it? Is the problem mainly our balkanized municipalities? I'm struggling to think of another significant southern city like Birmingham, where the core city is almost entirely poor.

Birmingham has a lot going for it. The setting among the wooded hills and ridges is really beautiful. The climate is decent and not as oppressive as many other parts of the south closer to the coasts. Easy driving distance to the beach, the bigger mountains, Atlanta, and New Orleans. We SHOULD be doing better!
Because Atlanta is a transient city.
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