Soon, the majority of all humans on the planet will be living in urbanized conditions. As millions of people from rural China, India and the African Continent merge into central city enclaves, will there be enough attention placed on the prosperity, human rights and other social systems we American’s equate with a free society.
For the small city of Syracuse, the movement isn’t so much from rural America as it is from Suburbia, extended families and young adults fleeing the nest. Add to that a proportionate number of senior citizens and baby boomers looking to downsize from large houses and yards, and you end up with a fever pitched pace to catch up to demand. Urban design projects will need to address all these concerns if a city like Syracuse is to attract more people. What lacks now is cohesive and comprehensive vision. Thought I think at times I see glimmers of hope, mostly politicians tend to equate progress with ignoring future potential. It’s typical knee jerk reaction to constituent complaint, even when constituents have no knowledge of the facts and prefer status quo mediocrity of potential opportunities.
With all the housing boom under way in downtown Syracuse, and the debate over the fate of I-81, if we leave it in place, nothing much will change, if we take it down through the city, we have an opportunity to create a walkable densely populated urban corridor while still addressing concerns of truck traffic and vehicular passage through he city in a better way than what we have today.
In any event, we should be well prepared for even more housing, condominiums, rentals, even co-ops some day, or possibly structured deals we have yet to develop. All this can be an opportunity to do something really great, really unique and really driving the future of social interaction in urban densely populated cities.
If Abu Dhabi can build an entire city with close to net zero carbon offsetting, (Masdar City) in a desert setting where temperatures typically hover around 120 degrees and the interior of that city is presently 15 to 20 degrees cooler through simple architectural placements of buildings and high tech solar panels and cooling system that use no fossil fuels, then I think Americans need to jump into this game and fast. The winner of the energy game will lead the world, and Syracuse has an chance to make small contributions in green and sustainable forward thinking establishments. We’re squandering our resources and focusing on the wrong issues.