Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sister Cities

Posted By on Wed, Apr 22, 2009 at 4:03 PM

Well, I've been trying to post something else ALLLL day, but it seems like I'm having technical difficulties.

So. Moving on ...

NPR's Steve Inskeep is in Detroit this week as part of a series called "Remaking Michigan, Retooling Detroit." The series is looking at how the state is seeking to replace the jobs lost in the automobile industry.

This morning, in Morning Edition's last look at business, Inskeep talked to Richard Florida, author of Who's Your City? and The Rise of the Creative Class.

Florida suggested that instead of using funding for auto firms and companies that are going to create "low-skill dead end jobs," spending that money on business start-ups.

"'I think the great tragedy of Detroit has been this tragedy of separated, segregated city and region. A largely African-American core surrounded by a largely white and to some degree immigrant suburban periphery,' he says. 'And when I look at Detroit, I see a tremendous legacy and reservoir of urban energy.'

Florida believes this can overcome the crime, troubled schools and, most importantly, help bring jobs. Especially if the region as a whole comes together."

That doesn't sound familiar at all, does it?

BONUS: Memphis Flyer stories about Florida and his work can be found here, here, and here.

UPDATE: Today's NYT's has a related story that I know at least one of my friends will like: an idea to save Flint, Michigan, by razing whole blocks and even neighborhoods of the city, condensing the population into a more manageable area.

The city is laying off firefighters and police officers and closing schools, and the story says Flint could save $100,00 a year trash collection alone. On many streets, the weekly garbage pick-up only finds one bag of trash.

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