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The inbetween lands

August 30, 2012

Yeah. This will overcome the dark, the 6 months of lake effect snow, the crappy football team, the derelict side of the Niagara Falls

Governor Andrew Cuomo recently announced that New York State is sending a billion dollars to resuscitate Buffalo. (He forgot to mention the state has to borrow the money.) It is a near certainty that the new monies will make matters worse, as Steven Malanga has explained in the Wall Street Journal. Bureaucrats, experts to be sure in urban planning, will make the decisions in Albany, and inevitably will put the money into physical things — infrastructure and buildings. “If we build it, they will stay.”

Yes, because great pathways, urban parks (that you can’t see because they’re buried under snow drifts most of the year, and can’t enjoy the rest of the time because of mosquitoes, humidity and thunderstorms from one of two great lakes the rest of the year), the well planned multi-use buildings will encourage unemployed people to stay in town. Perhaps the wings will do it.

In 1960 Buffalo was the 20th largest U.S. city with 532,000 inhabitants. Prosperity was a hallmark of this first city in America to be lighted at night. Austin was a frontier town with 185,000 people, ranked 67th in size. Today Austin, with a population of 820,000 is our 13th largest city while Buffalo is 72nd having lost more than half its population. …

Gee, I wonder why?

…The New York Times reported on the extraordinary growth of Austin, Texas. Even a casual reader can sense that private developers are doing all the construction. The new physical city is being built to house the new businesses that are already growing in Texas — a state whose public policy, especially its tax policy, expressly encourages business growth.

Hey, I prefer failed urban growth projects to the alternative – requiring permits for any current residents to relocate would be the next option.

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