The Urbanophile is carrying an absolutely beautiful essay on the struggle and the purpose of remaking Buffalo and Rust Belt cities.
“It hurts. When a bigtime Harvard economist writes off your city as a loss, and says America should turn its back on you, it hurts,” writes the author of the passage, which originally appeared in Buffalo Rising. “To choose to live in the Rust Belt is to commit to enduring a continuous stream of bad press and mockery.”
But Buffalo is worth saving, the author writes.
“The idea of disposable cities is one that is incompatible with a prosperous and sustainable future for our country. Fleeing Rust Belt cities for neo-Southern boomtowns is nothing more than sprawl writ large.”
And there are reasons to be hopeful.
“This new generation of urbanists sees these cities with fresh eyes. They see the decay, yes, but also the opportunity—and the possibilities for the present and future. To them this is Rust Belt Chic. It’s the place artists can dream of owning a house. Where they can live in a place with a bit of an authentic edge and real character. Where people can indulge their passion for renovating old architecture without a seven-figure budget.”
This is the best piece of writing I’ve ever seen on this topic. You should check it out in full text.