Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Dead Cities

1910 Census
New York City
St. Louis

Some social observers blame the demise of cities, such as Detroit, on the increase in government aid, minority populations and immigration.
The thing is, these factors only rise once the original population has strip mined the area for most of it's natural resources.Once these areas are depleted of all it's natural resources (which also includes innovation, originality and artistic talents), the areas then become affordable enough to attract those belonging to the lower classes.
1810 Census
New York
Northern Liberty, PA
New Orleans
District of Southward, PA
Salem, Mass.
Albany, NY

Populations are still migratory.
Notice how New York City remains at the top of the list.
New York succeeds because New York continues to attract immigrants who enable the city to reinvent itself through the influx of new cultures and ideas.
2010 Census
New York City
Los Angeles
San Antonio
San Diego
San Jose

The same could be said of Chicago.
'Culture' is a more important factor than is 'race' in determining the vibrancy of a city.
Of the country's largest cities - most can attribute their growth to immigration as being the primary factor.
New York also grew by annexation - the same could be said of Philadelphia.
Of the cities listed 200 years ago - three of them are now a part of Philadelphia.

I once thought of cities such as Kansas City, St. Louis, New Orleans, and  many other cities in the North or in industrial areas as being necessary for America to prosper.
But maybe Detroit has just run it's course as far as being a major American City is concerned.
Maybe the future lies in warmer areas where there is still (almost) clean water and farm able land.


DF said...

How about New York remains relevant as long as it's the 1st city for European Trade. Philly remains relevant as it's the next big port down the east coast. Baltimore & Boston boast the same thing.

Maybe in 2110 it'll be Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, San Diego as those are the trade ports to Asia & India.

If Brazil rises it'll be Miami, Houston, Jacksonville & Savannah.

I think it has way more to do with trade nowadays than in the past. As the economy changes from manufacturing to consumer the rust belt dies permanently. Unless they make the tradeway from Houston to Chicago then you might see a resurgence of the rust cities. Primarily as distribution points as they were in the past.

uglyblackjohn said...

Yep, like towns that were once along old trade routes in the Bible stories, many classic Americans cities have died.
Populations shift to where the jobs are and jobs are easily found in "Hub Cities". These towns have become rich through trade but they fail when they are no longer needed.

Reggie said...

Okay John, this is a pretty deep post. Interesting.......very interesting.

Brohammas said...

What good is farmable land with no farmers?