Monday, April 21, 2008

Debriefing Buffalo

I'm learning a lot from the wake of Edward Glaeser's Buffalo speech. I'm still not sure how Buffalo can operationalize Glaser's astute observations other than to move away from the current slate of policy approaches to the postindustrial economic malaise. The most entertaining response to the Glaeser critique comes from The Buffalo News:

And while some in Buffalo buy Glaeser’s shrinkage theory, others believe Florida’s vision is the one we should focus on.

“Let’s presume he’s right,” said Eva Hassett, at Savarino Companies. “Now what do we do?”

We might start by taking advantage of the fact that Florida, a professor who’s lived in Pittsburgh and Washington, recently relocated to Toronto. So, if you buy his “mega” arguments, he’s a local boy now.

Let’s press that advantage and ask for his help finding ways to make “mega- Buffalo” happen.

Setting Florida in opposition to Glaeser is about as contrived as contending that there is a Spiky World/Flat World dichotomy. Sorry for being unnecessarily snarky, but the author of the above commentary is too smitten with the packaging of Richard Florida's message. I have to wonder how well struggling cities understand what Florida is selling. And if Glaeser causes you to shrug your shoulders as to the proper course of action, where does that leave the Florida policy prescriptions?

1 comment:

Buffalopundit said...

Some more ideas here.

Eastern Germany faces similar issues to the rust belt.