Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Geographic Mobility Assets

Working through the logistics to promote boomerang migration, the collapse of the real estate market is a big drag on relocation as a labor mobility strategy. The economic downturn in general is disrupting relocation patterns and New Jersey is reporting an abatement of brain drain. Short of people walking away from underwater mortgages and rejoining the ranks of renters, homeowners could exploit the Rust Belt as a way of "deleveraging":

This fall, about the time the house is done, just a few blocks away they will be finishing the streetscape project and opening The Capitol Theater, a historic, 1921-movie theater, which was renovated by the Detroit Shoreway CDO and will be managed by a local theater company.

My mortgage payment will be $355 per month (and the reason I share that is simply to demonstrate how far your money will go in Cleveland and I’d be lying if I said this didn’t factor pretty heavily into my decision).

There is a pretty active block club in my neighborhood and their slogan goes like this: “Every time you spend a dollar, you are casting a vote for the kind of world you want.”

The Detroit Shoreway community sounds like an ideal place for a diaspora relocation initiative. Active residents can help facilitate the boomerang migration. This will activate a network that will attract more scattered talent looking for such an opportunity.

Each city could have a diaspora neighborhood that caters to the needs and interests of this demographic. These would be hubs of geographic mobility and could dramatically improve local schools. This would entail a different kind of city planning, but one that would better integrate into the global economy.

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