By Tyler Falk
Posting in Cities
Find out how the White House plans to turn struggling cities into "strong cities."
The White House announced a new pilot program yesterday, called "Strong Cities, Strong Communities," aimed at connecting cities and regions to the resources they need to bounce back from difficult economic times.
This pilot will help six cities to reach their goals of once again becoming thriving cities. The first group will include Detroit, Mich., Cleveland, Ohio, Memphis, Tenn., New Orleans, La., Fresno, Calif., and Chester, Pa.
Below is a video of Melody Barnes, President Obama's domestic policy adviser, explaining the program in more detail.
To be clear, the program is not about government telling the cities what to do. Rather, the program aims to helps cities meet their own specific goals.
So what exactly are some of these goals?
The White House post doesn't provide a lot of details about each city. But some of the details that are given suggest that increased transit accessibility and a revival of walkable downtowns that create a more vibrant economy are among the priorities.
But also with such an emphasis on fiscal responsibility, this program will help cities meet their goals with the resources they have available to them, says Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan.
Strong Cities, Strong Communities is about rebuilding some of America’s greatest cities, and doing so in a responsible way. Winning the future requires that we not only work harder, but that we work smarter as well, reducing our nation’s deficit while doing more to help cities that need and deserve our help.
It might be light in details, but it's certainly heavy on promise. And it's a program we'll continue to follow.
Jul 11, 2011
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As a resident of Portland, I am a beneficiary of the intelligent planning that now characterizes the local and regional governments that cooperate in making very liveable communities. Portland's residents did all of the hard work on their own without any support or interference from the Federal government. The best thing the White House can do for these test cities is to point them in the right direction by suggesting they take a look at the inner workings of communities such as Portland and consider some of their infrastructure and the decisions that were made in order to achieve recognition as a "strong city."
So what is this really about? If it's not about doling out more federal dollars or mandates, then what is it? Why is it that these cities are not able to solve these problems on their own if they have all of these people who supposedly already have all the answers? Most of that video was full of the usual focus-group-tested feel-good buzzwords. Blech. I can't tell what they are really offering.
The government needs to stay the heck out of all the state's business. No one, not a single high paid suit in DC could run an ice cream stand let along give advice on how to bring up a down trodden city! Have they looked in their own back yard, a total dump! All these fools are going to be looking for jobs soon so DC will go further down the toilet!
Instead of investing in cities that are failing, why not invest in the cities that are already creating growth and jobs? Why should the Government continue its policy of rewarding failure and punishing success? This program is about as smart as paying unemployment, instead of paying the unemployed to learn new jobs and skills and compete?
Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, San Diego...a lot of cities have reinvented the city core over the past 20 years. If other cities can't figure out how to follow the blueprint of others, I don't see how the federal government's help will be of any....help.