Naming the blog-Comeback City
January 9, 2013 1 Comment
Almost all cities that have been around a long time have had boom years and troughs. Very few have been wiped away for good and some have been decimated by fire, war, or famine, and come back.
New York City lost the world’s largest textile industry completely. It suffered a crack epidemic and a very dark decade in the eighties. New York City has come roaring back.
Many of America’s cities and neighborhoods are not and have not been in a boom. They are in need of a comeback. This platform is not about dwelling on decay or labeling places as down and out. It is about sharing ideas from different places and building on strength.
Being a throwaway society is not America’s strength. Some economists suggest people move where the jobs are. The emptying of some cities in favor of others or distant suburbs, leaves a wake of human distress. Abandoning legions of buildings wastes embedded energy and cultural history. Jobs can be any place there is human ingenuity. Sun and sand contribute to some jobs, but other human factors are far more important and are not bound by climate or geography.
Throw away cities should not be an American value. Americans are very generous about helping US cities that have been hit by hurricane, earthquake, or terrorism, (until Sandy) However, Americans can become dismissive when discussing the slower decline of a city. Buildings were falling down and poverty was prevalent before Katrina hit New Orleans, but national focus on the city’s problems only rushed in with the storm. Some cities are poorly managed and its leaders have had misplaced priorities. They should not be bailed out or rewarded for this. However, as an American society, we do not win overall, when there is such disparity in the health and opportunity between our cities.
I hope as a reader you will enjoy Comeback City and it will provide content to think about and maybe even spark specific projects. Much of the future content will be Baltimore centric. Other content will draw from other places. Baltimore is a city that might be on the precipice of recovery. There are positive sprouts in many places. Its momentum is fragile and the pace of rebound is slow.
America and the world have witnessed comeback cities. We have a role in helping some of the cities we care about rebound. Thanks for reading!