I want to share with you an opinion piece from RustWire.com last week. The article was reposted on BuffaloRising.com and it’s now made its way down I-90 to RochesterSubway.com. Angie Schmitt begins by blasting attempts to market cities to young people. Angie cites an example from Columbus, Ohio where leaders spent a $30,000 grant to hire a so-called “Gen Y” expert to tell them how they could retain and attract the widely-coveted demographic. “Why didn’t they just ask the young people that live there what they want, and maybe put the $30,000 toward that?” she asks…
And she goes on to lambast her own city of Cleveland for a marketing campaign which aims to bring back young professionals who have moved away. The problem with this effort as she sees it, is that it’s based on the myth that Cleveland has only an “image problem,” or that Cleveland is a great place to live as-is. But when Angie looks objectively at her hometown she sees glaring shortcomings. Cleveland’s net package of assets are “not compelling enough right now to attract young people…the way they are in places like San Francisco, New York, Boston.”
So what exactly is it that Angie and other young creatives find so attractive about San Francisco, New York, and Boston? She boils it down to this… “bustling sidewalks, community spaces,” and, drumroll please… “the freedom to get around and lead a fulfilling life without a car. This is exactly what New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston and a handful of other cities that are winning the young-people-attracting game are focused on.”
Being from the New York City area myself, I can tell you it’s not often realistic for smaller cities like Rochester to model themselves after these places. If only money grew on Lilac bushes, right? “Nonsense,” Angie says. Read the following excerpt from Angie’s article, and when you’re finished tell me if these same observations do not also apply to Rochester:
Ok young Rochesterians… Here’s your chance to tell your civic leaders what you want (believe it or not they DO read RochesterSubway.com). So drop a comment below. Coincidentally, the City of Rochester is also updating the Center City Master Plan, and they’re asking for opinions . So let’s give it to them.
Tags: Angie Schmitt, Boston, BuffaloRising.com, Cleveland, Columbus OH, Global Cleveland Initiative, livibility, New York City, RustWire.com, San Francisco, suburbanization, urban design, urban revitalization
This entry was posted on Monday, December 17th, 2012 at 8:06 am and is filed under Opinion, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.