27 November 2010

Downsizing or Bankruptcy for Shrinking Cities

If cities that are shrinking do not downsize, they will eventually have to go into bankruptcy. The cities in the 'rust belt' are suffering more during the on-going financial crisis. However, cities whose housing markets were over-heated such as Las Vegas and Phoenix are also experiencing difficulty. These times are certainly chaotic and unsettling for metropolitan governments and their residents. These changes are also tied to the structual changes in the global economy which were on-going before the financial crisis. An article by Richard Florida in The Atlantic (on-line) at http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/print/2009/03/how-the-crash-will-reshape-america/7293/ delves into many of these issues.
In an interview with Richard Florida he states that the way to revitilize cities and our economy is "to invest in the creativity of each and every individual—and give people the right to express their creative talents in ways that they find interesting and relevant..." (http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2009/02/the-great-reset/7303/ ) One could conclude or extapolate from this atatement that while investment in infrastructure will be important a la Kensian economoics, it will not be the primary engine to revitilze cities. Cities, always being at the creative "edge of chaos" must revitlize themselves.

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