Tag Archives: Drought Belt

Introducing The “Water Belt”


Check out this recent column by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Brian O’Neill.

He interviews ‘burgh native Don Carter, who recently retired president of Urban Design Associates and was named director of the Remaking Cities Institute at Carnegie Mellon University.

For years, Carter tells O’Neill, he has hated the term “Rust Belt.” And he’s trying to get folks to start calling …the “Water Belt.”

In place of “Sun Belt?” Try “Drought Belt.” Cities here, Carter writes, “are low-density, auto-dependent, and survive on ever diminishing supplies of borrowed water. ‘Sun Belt’ economies are driven not by diversity but by the business of growth itself, such as home building and construction, which the great recession of 2008-2009 revealed as illusory and unsustainable.” Amen brother!

Someone I knew in Lorain (Ohio) actually used to use these terms, so I think they could certainly catch on.
I personally kind of like the term “Rust Belt,” but I think a lot of the people I know use it in kind of a proud, reclaiming the word kind of way, not in a derogatory way.
What do you think? Is it futile to try to change these terms used by people and the media? Or does Don Carter have the right idea?


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