Why the economic crisis might benefit our neighborhoods

"A crisis is a terrible thing to waste", or so said Stanford economist Paul Romer. That quote is pivotal in a lengthy article in the Atlantic magazine; the article reviews which areas of the U.S. are likely to benefit from what the author sees as a pivotal shift in the country due to the economic crisis. If you don’t have time to read the super-long article, here’s an excerpt talking about who benefits:

"In October, less than a month after the financial markets began to melt down, Moody’s Investor Services published an assessment of recent economic activity within 381 U.S. metropolitan areas. Three hundred and two were already in deep recession, and 64 more were at risk. Only 15 areas were still expanding. Notable among them were the oil- and natural-resource-rich regions of Texas and Oklahoma, buoyed by energy prices that have since fallen; and the Greater Washington, D.C., region, where government bailouts, the nationalization of financial companies, and fiscal expansion are creating work for lawyers, lobbyists, political scientists, and government contractors."

There’s lots more in the article, includng a discussion of urban vs. suburban, Rust Belt vs. Sun Belt, sprawl vs. density — in short, a lot of the topics city planners are talking about throughout the country. If you have some time this weekend, check out the article. And thanks to Steve Kenny for passing it along.


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