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Regionalism Essay

2490 words - 10 pages

Our cities are not what they used to be. Over the corse of fifty years the once proud, strong, and viable hubs of American economic prowess are but a shell of what they were built for. The problems that many cities have are no longer condensed to their city limits and the sprawl that was created over that fifty year period is now threatening to enter the suburban spaces that were created when the city’s citizens left. The metro sprawl is starting to loose it’s attractiveness and unless there is more acknowledgment of the problems creeping out of these cities, the same declining trends will create unoccupied commercial and residential districts not unlike the downtowns of many American cities. Without careful discussion about these trends and our communities embracement of a more regional approach, then there will be more problems in less dense suburban areas, making those problems hard to correct. In order to prevent the spread of this urban blight and avoid low occupancy rates, communities must implement regional tax policies, plan for more effective use of space, and encourage smart growth.
Regionalism is the act of looking at a populated area not as individual localities or municipalities, but as something greater. Instead of approaching our revitalization efforts to one area, the problems should be addressed regionally. This has been an ongoing topic of debate since the suburban sprawl that created communities outside of our cities first started. In fact, it has been somewhat over shadowed by the rising popularity of city revitalization efforts through public private efforts of development. City renaissance is only a small piece of what regionalism is about. Charles Clark, writer of the CQ Researcher article “Revitalizing the Cities”, quoted David C. Perry from the State University of New York at Buffalo and sums this up perfectly by saying the overall “politics and tax policies” reflect that of “19th-century governments” not 20th-century governments that are far less centralized than the ones of a century ago (902-903). The core of the city deteriorating is NOT the only problem that exists in our communities. Those problems could and have started to spread to outlying communities. Regionalism presents an opportunity for leaders and citizens to create better implementation of ideas for the communities they serve. Without it, greater competition for those ideas will continue to occur leaving some areas of the region unable to gain a foothold in that struggle.This will ultimately lead to sweeping blight into the fanning corridors that serve the central cities. Only through regional practices can this problem be controlled.
Regionalism requires an expansive amount of planning. Pierre Clavel created an in-depth look at this with the city of Rochester, New York. Their planning efforts were interrupted by expansive layoffs in their private sector (Clavel 159). Rochester had to deal with the loss of jobs from their “Big Three” Photonics and...

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