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Shreveport-Bossier City Bossier Parish, Caddo Parish, De Soto Parish
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Old 11-17-2011, 01:28 PM
 
Location: Kennesaw, GA
167 posts, read 825,156 times
Reputation: 217

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As sort of a take-off of the Stagnant population thread...
What do you think Shreveport wants to be "when it grows up?" Other parts of the state seem to have a strong cultural and economic identity, but Shreveport is a bit of a mystery.
I'll go first...
I would love to see Shreveport invest in its historic neighborhoods. There would be streetcars again, parks with ongoing organized activities for families. Bring businesses back to the downtown area, revitalizing the old buildings and converting some to dual residential/commercial. Complete a total overhaul on the public schools. Wouldn't hurt to have another college around besides Centenary and LSUS. I would love to see the suburban sprawl stop before it gets out of control, and draw the citizens back towards the city instead of further away from it. This will help foster a stronger community spirit and change the perception that natives have of their own city. I could see Shreveport capitalizing on the river by having restaurants and event venues that hug the shoreline, lots of little white lights, music, etc. (There is a significant history of Jazz music in Shreveport, by the way.) Of course, I wouldn't want everything to look new and all Stepford-like, because I like some of the seedy grit, but I think the whole place could use a refreshing face-lift.
What do you think?
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Old 11-17-2011, 01:33 PM
 
Location: Denver
15,808 posts, read 23,817,816 times
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Focus on old neighborhoods and address all the blight. Streetcars should be introduced state-wide. Diversify the economy with the movie industry, innovative energy tech, education, and medical.
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Old 01-05-2012, 11:52 PM
 
Location: New Orleans, LA
1,291 posts, read 1,414,752 times
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What it wants to be and what I'd like it to be are 2 different things...

I can see Shreveport wanting to be a simple mecca for country people that love rural Texas / Louisiana, but also like the convenience of city life. There are so many country stations, churches, truck drivers that drive like they're the only people on the road here that I could see major resistance to any change from that.

What I'd like it to be is a city that embraces hollywood, gambling, growth, and a bit of Historic Louisiana. There aren't hardly any of that old Louisiana architecture here that you see in Natchitoches or New Orleans. I find it kind of depressing that we don't embrace that type of Louisiana!

But most of all, I'd like to see a more liberal social atmosphere here. There's almost no gay groups, racial acceptance, or anything really that strays away from the country life or the thug life. Everyone here seems to drive big ol trucks that tailgate you for driving 5 mph over the limit or some candy painted 20 yr old car that smokes like crazy.
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Old 01-07-2012, 07:42 PM
 
974 posts, read 2,060,033 times
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Shreveport never fully embraced the gambling / tourism opportunities and instead allowed local politicians to steer what downtown development that took place in the early casino era to their crony buddies. The downtown "Red River Entertainment District" was poorly executed from the outset, inept property management, knee-jerk reactions to crowd management / security and just one thing after another. It was a classic case of "here we go again", one step forward and three steps back.

Shreveport's downtown was left to decay for decades after the oil bust in the latter 1980's. What historic structures remained were left to fall apart for lack of maintenance or code enforcement. The old Shreve Square had some of the oldest historic structures in the ArkLaTex but they were left to the city's policy of "demolition through neglect". Sadly those structures are forever gone.
While there is some activity on a handful of downtown buildings, the real key for success after rehabilitation will come in the form of actual downtown tenants and businesses relocating there. We can hope but I'm afraid that you're looking at 5 to 7 years down the road. Look at all the promise that the LEE HARDWARE / UNITED JEWELERS APARTMENTS which were supposed to encourage local grocers & shops to open up around them. Well those were finished in 1999 and not much else near there has developed.
There are pockets of progress, CoHabitat: a shared workspace on Commerce St., a few techy companies, and of course the Millenium Film Studio which isn't shabby at all. The re-birth of the former Red River Ent District will be interesting but unless it takes a hint from the security & enforcement methods that Bossier's Boardwalk has had in place, it won't attract quality of clientele they hope for. Do a YouTube search for Shreveport Fights and you'll see quite a few videos showing what happens outside of the different clubs in downtown Shreveport at the riverfront. This is the identity Shreveport has regarding riverfront nightlife.

Shreveport is comprised of four different worlds: the quaint white-bread, Sunday church-going world, and the urban, gangsta-gone-ghetto world and the redneck world and the Artsy-Fartsy, mutual-admiration society world. Know this and you'll understand the identity crisis.
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