Skip to main content

Hope for Cities

A few years ago I stumbled across some incredible photos of New York City on the SkyscraperCity discussion board. The photos are so stunning for the simple fact that New York, during the 60s and 70s, looked like nothing short of a war zone; and if you look closely, there are several photos where you can easily recognize streets and blocks that are now some of the most desirable in the city.

(from meophamman on Flickr)

These photos are the reason why I don't believe you can give up on a city, any city, no matter how hard times have gotten there. Someone looking at these photos at the time when they were shot would have been completely justified in believing that New York was hopeless, doomed, and would forever be a brutal, dangerous place where people wouldn't go. Time has show that to be anything but the truth.


B. P. Beckley said…
These photos are the reason why I don't believe you can give up on a city, any city, no matter how hard times have gotten there.

New York isn't any city. Much urbanist discussion tends to be very NYC-centric, and I sometimes wonder if there are any lessons you can learn from NYC that are actually applicable elsewhere.
Kent said…
New York probably isn't a good model for generalizing. It has above-average wealth concentration, economic opportunity (lots of jobs that don't require English proficiency or abstract skills -- think cabs and restaurants), public infrastructure, and political commitment to social programs. And density.

I can't think of a way to save dying cities unless they can figure out a new kind of economic engine.
B. P. Beckley said…
It has above-average wealth concentration, economic opportunity ...
And a really strong attraction to many many people, beyond the economic opportunity.

Popular posts from this blog

In Praise of Southwest's 'C' Boarding Group

A few weeks ago I saw a tweet from someone complaining that their Southwest Airlines boarding pass had been assigned A20 (meaning they would be at least one of the first twenty passengers to board the plane). Apparently this person though they should have been assigned a higher number, less their flight experience be considerably spoiled.

Despite the complaints, Southwest has resisted demands to assign seats on its flights, a decision which I personally applaud. I'll admit that I was skeptical when they rolled out the newest boarding procedure, assigning both boarding groups and a line number; but in hindsight it seems like one of the best operational decisions they've ever made. If nothing else, it effectively eliminated the infamous "cattle call" whereby fliers were getting to airports hours in advance and sitting in line on the floor as if they were waiting for the midnight showing of the new Star Wars movie.

When I was an intern at Southwest Airlines last winter, I…

So You Want to be a Southwest Airlines Intern?

My personal website must have pretty decent SEO - because in the past year, I've received about two dozen emails from aspiring Southwest Airlines interns looking to draw on my experience in search of their own dream internship. In the past two weeks alone a few new emails have already started rolling in...

(from flickr user San Diego Shooter)

If you've found your way here, you might be hoping for the silver bullet; a secret tip that will propel you above the competition. Unfortunately, I do not know any inside secrets. I can only share my experience as an internship candidate about two years ago and, rather than responding individually to future emails I anticipate to receive, I hope that potential interns will find the information posted here valuable.

Understand: Southwest Airlines is a very unique company. The corporate culture at Southwest is truly unlike that of nearly every other company. But you probably already knew that, since it now seems mandatory for every management,…

Mixing Sports and Business

In the last two days I've devoured every article in the Washington Post about the Nationals painful and epic defeat on Friday night in the NLDS. It was a tough way to see the season end, there's no doubt about that.

(from wallyg on Flickr)
These articles make it clear that there are a lot of people emotionally invested in professional sports. I think they sometimes they forget that, ultimately, Major League Baseball is big business. Each team is a major corporation and the league itself is an organization governed by a bunch of executives. The television networks that show the games are under contract with the team owners and the games aren't usually available to those without cable.

This is why it can be so hard to be a fan in this game. It's the multi-millionaire and billionaire owners that call most of the shots. They get to decide how much they're willing to spend on players. They get to decide who to hire as the CEO of the company. They get to decide how much t…