As the celebration of our win of $500 million Upstate Revitalization Initiative begins to quiet, the real work begins. It's now time to roll up our sleeves, put our heads together and turn the pages of the Southern Tier's award-winning plan into reality. While it is tremendously exciting, it also brings the requirement of thought and diligence to our elected leaders, economic developers, educators, creative class, and community as a whole.
Broome County is uniquely poised to create a vibrant and dynamic ecosystem through the Greater Binghamton Innovation Ecosystem initiative. We outlined many of the components of this in an earlier blog post, the "Triple Cities Renaissance." We like the word, "renaissance" because of its definition as a "rebirth" or "revival." We've got good bones here, and with the URI, the ability to strengthen them. "Picture a place with a reasonable cost of living and incredible natural beauty. Think of communities where you may run into your neighbor at the coffee shop — or while cheering at a professional sporting event. Add world-renowned institutions of higher education and residents known for their capacity to innovate. Now put all these advantages at the intersection of major highways and rivers, with easy access to half of the North American population. That’s the Southern Tier." That's the Greater Binghamton Innovation Ecosystem.
Weaved throughout the text of the Greater Binghamton Innovation Ecosystem is the value of place and its impact on economic development. In his book, For the Love of Cities, Peter Kageyama writes that creating places worth caring about makes for strong communities, and statistics are demonstrating that there has been a new urbanism happening throughout the United States.According to U.S. Census Data released in 2010, 21 percent of America’s population is now living within two to four miles of a city hall. The influx of residents to urban areas within the last decade – 2000 to 2010 – has resulted in an increase of over 2.2 million people within cities. Through the creation of iDistricts in Binghamton, Endicott and Johnson City, we now have the opportunity to create dynamic and distinct urban centers of activity to attract students, professionals, creatives and provide new opportunities for residential living in the urban core.
It's an exciting time and we're eager to begin. As the process by which the URI will be administered is still unfolding, it's a great time to envision a rebirth of the Triple Cities and appreciate the value of place.
"I have an affection for a great city. I feel safe in the neighborhood of man, and enjoy the sweet security of the streets." - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
posted by Stacey