Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Why Uniquely Bad Is Great News

Thanks to John Slanina for the article reference that serves as the centerpiece of today's blog post. The Detroit economy is so bad, it's good. There's a rush on urban frontier opportunities:

Local experts say Detroit has achieved something unique. It has become the test case for all sorts of theories on urban decay and all sorts of promising ideas about reviving shrinking cities.

"It's unbelievable," said Sue Mosey, president of the University Cultural Center Association, who has been interviewed recently by two separate PBS crews and an Austrian journalist writing about Detroit.

"All of us have been inundated with all of these people who somehow think that because we're so bottomed out and so weak-market, that this is this incredible opportunity," Mosey said.

I hope I don't offend any readers, but that's how I understand Youngstown. I see it as a place uniquely positioned to serve as an urban laboratory for economic redevelopment ideas. I doubt someone would fund me to do a Greater Detroit 2.0 project. There's too much brain drain hysteria in Michigan.

I also think that Youngstown benefits from its proximity to Cleveland and Pittsburgh. Detroit might point to Ann Arbor and perhaps Toledo is a good prospect for an urban pairing, but I doubt those two cities can carry the colossal dead weight. Our thinking is that if there is to be a shrinking city research center in the Rust Belt, it should be in Youngstown.

1 comment:

  1. As you cheerleaders are writing about this city. There are still more dredging up the past A Perfect example is the man who set up at Four Seasons Fleamarket every Sunday, selling his book about Jim Traficant, talking about that they're going to have a parade for Jimbo when he returns. Imagine the embarrassment on this community. We have a parade to welcome back, a convicted felon Go to U-Tube and search for "YOUNGSTOWN NUT JOB" watch IT and tell me we aren't DOOMED