Pete Saunders continues to write some of the more thought-provoking posts regarding urban design, economics & redevelopment. His posts shed some new light and discussion about the challenges of our older metros in the rust belt, but also pointing some possible ways forward. Here he touts the advantages of Rust Belt cities:
How do Rust Belt metros differ, and how are they situated for future economic growth? First, they already have many of the amenities that Sun Belt and second-tier metros aspire to -- the sports, the tourist and cultural attractions. They have the transportation infrastructure in place, even if it requires significant investment for necessary improvements. After decades of decline, they now have cheap housing and available land.
But they also have two other factors that weigh heavily in their favor. They have an "authenticity" and "rootedness" factor that Sun Belt cities often lack because of their relatively recent development. They also have a level of familiarity among Sun Belt migrants, often because of family connections, causing people to revisit them.
In other words, the Rust Belt will become the nation's leaders in an emerging "growth without growth" phenomenon.