Monday, February 16, 2009

Big Cities That Are Going Bust

We've seen numerous stories about Dubai, a city that is rapidly losing people as they jump ship or man made sand island but what about American cities? It looks like we have the usual suspects with a few new friends. Cities that have been known as thriving metropolis' but also allowed real estate to run wild. The two big ones that would have probably been on my own list are Las Vegas, Atlanta, and Orlando. Other cities in the rust belt such as Detroit and Dayton are not a surpirse but what about Richmond Va? The best cities are Boston, New York, and Honolulu, areas with hefty real estate and living costs.

I'd love to see other statistics on these cities such as the types of growth patterns over the last 15 years and see if the disconnected nature has something to do with it. I'm not sure if that would show anything, but it would be something to think about. I also wonder about the soul of these cities. What are they known for. Obviously we know Vegas is entertainment but what are Atlanta and Orlando known for? Would having more of an identity make them more like a New York or Boston? Would it have precluded the real estate mess? I don't know the answers, but its always interesting to ask them.

3 comments:

Rhywun said...

Vacancy rate plays the same game as cost of living: low vacancy (high cost of living) is great for the ownership class (i.e. Forbes readers) and not so great for the rest of us. But we continue to pay jaw-dropping sums to live in places like NY anyway because the thought of living in a soulless wasteland like Vegas or Atlanta is unappealing. BUT we are also aware that this is a minority opinion. Most of America is perfectly content to live amid strip malls and cul-de-sacs. Heck, they're largely unaware that there's anything else out there, or that their lifestyle was unknown 100 years ago and could just as easily vanish tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

a large piece of this puzzle is the perceived cultural mix. See Richard Florida's The Rise of the Creative Class.
Cities that do not welcome gays, piercings, 'funny' hairdo's ultimately don't attract the bright and often well paying jobs/workers. And surprise these folks don't enjoy strip malls eother. This IS why the phrase flover country emerged.

Brian Goldner said...

the article muddles the distinction btwn city and msa - check the pop. counts for vegas and detroit and you'll see they're not talking about the same thing...