6/22/2006

Our Shrinking City...

I've been fascinated with the politics of decline. A few of my readers tell me privately that the City of Buffalo is still in denial and should start "land-banking" and managing the econominc decline of Buffalo, NY in more rational ways.

My own block used to have twenty houses on it 10 years ago. Now there are 14. Three years ago, 10 of them were occupied. Two years ago, seven and today just four of the fourteen are really occupied. (One, is boarded, but there are people living there.) I'm equally fascinated by the fact that many people I meet on Elmwood at the Cafes, seem to confuse the Elmwood buzz and cool pulse, with Buffalo. Let's think Black Rock, Seneca Street and the geographically largest portion of Buffalo, the East Side. I love the buzz and pulse of Elmwood like the next person yet...seems to be increasingly like the deck of the Titanic...

What to do? This past week's Buffalo News story - Population Drain from WNY is Speading Up - about Buffalo, NY's population loss hit home in a big way. I'm tempted to have one of my geek friends design a java-based reverse counter that I could place on this blog - since your last visit 14 people have left Buffalo - ...showing how many people are leaving Buffalo every day. Doing the math from the article, I quickly calculated that 7 people/day are leaving the Queen City.
In fact, the estimates are on target with arecent study by the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania,which projected the population in Buffalo Niagara region would drop bymore than 65,000 people between 2000 and 2020.
Jay Rey, the Buffalo News reporter, just e-mailed me the study he mentioned in the article. Here's the link (.pdf file) to a study conducted by Peter Linneman and Albert Saiz of The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvannia. The first 15 pages carry the arguement about Buffalo's population loss. The table on page 12 is a killer. Here, there are four other up-state New York counties that will experience more population loss in the next 14 years than Buffalo, NY.

I started this thread over at Cyburbia, looking for some analysis of this study.

Remember Jay Rey's other story The Incredible Shrinking City - January 2, 2005
This one hits home the hardest: Our brain drain. We watch as our friends and sons and daughters -- the region's future, our smartest and brightest, our growth potential -- move away for better opportunities in other parts of the country. What's left is a region aging in place and growing old fast. This region has one of the highest percentages of senior citizens in the nation, up there with retirement meccas like Sarasota and West Palm Beach.
As I recall that article in the Buffalo News spawned RevitalizeBuffalo. Haven't heard much from them recently. The first link on their blog roll goes to former UB professor Alex Halavais, who bounced to NYC a few months ago. Alex (the former Dean of the Buffalo Blogosphere) considers his time in Buffalo to have been a mistake. Read it right here! And UB's School of Informatics is sub-standard. See the 40 comments in that post. RevitalizeBuffalo does have a nice piece about Anderson Cooper and the Atkins Diet. Oh well...Jenn does a great job with this UB program's post-mortem, too.

btw...The beacon of civility, Ithaca NY in Tompkins County, is saved. Thank god. But 12 of New York State's other counties make the list of 50 counties across the nation that will experience the largest population loss.
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12 comments:

Alan said...

Revitalize Buffalo is the lead organization supporting the "Old Home Week" project whose sole aim is to market the area to Buffalo expatriates and convince them to return.

Anonymous said...

Alan is the Buffalo Pundit. Like he gives a fuck. He lives in Clarence and pimps Buffalo.

Alan. In Clarence. said...

Ooo. I should cc my real estate lawyer and threaten the owner of this blog with litigation.

fix buffalo said...

Anon...

Careful. Not all of us learned how to play nicely in kindergarten. Thanks for the e-mail about that dumbkopf, Generalisimo Wesley Clark.

Alan. In Clarence. Laughing. said...

It's dummkopf. Not "dumbkopf". And "generalissimo", not "generalisimo".

Have fun talking to yourself on here. Looks like fun .

Also, I'm quite satisfied that you included yourself in the kindergarten crack. "Us" indeed.

fix buffalo said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
fix buffalo said...

Alan,

Go check the air conditioning in your car. Which I'm convinced you haven't done...

You've had issues with my "single issue blog" since day one. Be a good sport and write something coherent about your own neighborhood in Clarence.

Enjoy the summer and your pizza!

Alan. In Clarence. Not East Aurora. said...

I've never once had an issue with your blog. In fact, I read it all the time and link to it occasionally. I think it adds value to the local 'sphere.

I do, however, have a problem with your _always_ combative and obnoxious demeanor, and the moment someone either calls you on it, or responds in kind, you cry like a teething baby, and accuse everyone else of being uncivil or mean or whatever.

You love playing martyr/victim, and you are the master of passive aggression.

fix buffalo said...

Alan,

Right from the Wesley Clark play book. Accuse someone - of anything - and feign the higher ground. Nice.

Your comments don't pertain to this thread. Real Estate lawyer, kindergarten crack and something about East Aurora?

Stick with the substance Alan...you'll go much further.

Alan. In Clarence pimping all of WNY. said...

You're hilarious, I'll give you that.

Especially the bits about Wes Clark. I think it's really funny how you think I care what your opinion is of him or just about anything else, for that matter.

My comment - the first one - was exactly on point. It was factual and non-confrontational. You found the need to respond using another identity (you've done it before on my own site), and that's fine. I've dealt with usenet troll types before .

YOU brought up kindergarten, YOU ran to your real estate lawyer when you didn't like the link to Bidwell's eBay feedback, and YOU LOVE to rib me about Clarence, which is fair game and fine, but don't talk much about your East Aurora roots. Interesting, that.

Glass houses, and all.

fix buffalo said...

Alan,

That would be a great name for your blog, since you don't live in Buffalo and according to websters you are not a pundit.

In all seriousness, some suburban reporting is really missing in the local blogosphere...pics and text from the ditches of suburbia would be a welcome contribution. Really.

btw...I haven't lived in EA in 25 years. My focus is mostly my neigborhood with an occasional foray towards Perrysburg, NY and some other sites on the City's east side outside of my neighborhood.

Just blogging my neighborhood...

btw...interesting that you know about conversations that I have with my attorney or have information about people who visit my blog...

If your next comment doesn't pertain to this thread it will deleted. I apologize to regular fixbuffalo readers who are trying to make sense of this comment thread.

Alan Real Estate Trust said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.