Stimulating the Great Lakes Region

The good people at Great Lakes Urban Exchange convened more than 200 people in Buffalo last month to form a consensus about the best way to direct stimulus money in Great Lakes cities.

The result is summarizied in a letter to Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan on the GLUE web site.

Here’s a snippet:

“A specific concern of conferees is that the Obama Administration understand both the scale and the urgency of Great Lakes metros’ challenges.

Brownfields in our older, mainly small- and mid-sized metros are probably never going to become the destinations for housing development, because our metros, unlike larger metros elsewhere in America, suffer from an over-stock of housing. Other opportunities to use these sites exist.

Preference should be given whenever possible to programs and projects that re-use these brownfields, so that the federal government does not continue to encourage greenfield development and perpetuate sprawl.

Yet precisely because our Great Lakes metros have the unique wealth of Great Lakes proximity, relatively small ARRA investments–if implemented by metro region and not by city, town or village–hold the promise of tremendous long-term economic benefit.”

Good job, guys. Here’s hoping that they listen.

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