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5 Great Cities That Are at Risk

Mary Jander, Managing Editor, Future Cities
Wednesday, January 15, 2014 12:30 EST

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Resurgent phoenix
Resurgent phoenix  
1/25/2014 2:22:25 PM
User Rank Burgher
Re: I guess we're done kicking Detroit
Did you know in 1970 28% of China'spopulation had access to secondary education and in 2012 it rose to 82%. From this site it has been written they are rapidly building infrastructure. Do you think the Cities you mentioned will survive or be replaced by the new ones?

CitySolver
CitySolver  
1/22/2014 7:49:04 AM
User Rank Blogger
LA
Thats news to me. LA in decline, wow. I see why looking at it in detail. The music industry has moved on. We need new bands, new start ups with some of the idealism of the 60s. Surely toursim is crucial too. Very suprised at these facts.

Mary Jander
Mary Jander  
1/21/2014 9:47:02 AM
User Rank Staff
Re: decline
Ha, IMO, Nicole, Rio is a case of a city both great and awful. Its problems are legion, but so is its influence. There are lots of great things about Rio, but they always appear to be nearly overwhelmed by the bad. An odd balance that tips this way and that, I'd say.

richheap
richheap  
1/21/2014 1:43:48 AM
User Rank Staff
Re: decline
This is another good point, Venks. This is why we have to be tough on our leaders. They have a great responsibility to continue to improve our cities; and there is a lot of risk for cities if they can't do this.

richheap
richheap  
1/21/2014 1:40:14 AM
User Rank Staff
Re: Everywhere's at risk from something
History is full of examples of great civilisations that grew, ruled and declined. There's no reason to think cities are immune from the same cycle. To paraphrase the blurb on some financial products goes, past performance is no guarantee of future success.

Venks
Venks  
1/20/2014 9:42:39 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: decline
Sometimes, all it takes is just one problem to start that "decline" rolling. Not that it's something any city would want, but sometimes, it's inevitable with all the forces at play, just setting things up in that direction.

@Hazel: Thats probably why people sitting in the cabinet are very important, as they say. Even if they are not literate, competant they have the power to make amends in the law and hence make or break a city.

Venks
Venks  
1/20/2014 9:38:54 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Everywhere's at risk from something
Even powerhouses like London at risk of decline due to issues like the rising cost of living and low housebuilding levels

@Rich: You make a great point here. I completely agree with you and for that matter I even believe other major cities are also on a decline, just to say.

Venks
Venks  
1/20/2014 9:32:30 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: I guess we're done kicking Detroit
@Terry: I believe China has a slightly different set of problem dealing with this. Apart from its population headache, its a big challenge for its government to maintain its resources while being able to deliver on its promised projects at the right time.

richheap
richheap  
1/20/2014 11:58:14 AM
User Rank Staff
Re: Everywhere's at risk from something
Well, you could be rising and at risk, but I take your point. I wonder if my home city Oxford would come into the rising or falling category but, to tell the truth, I don't see much happening in either direction. It seems to be getting on with things much as it always has.

London's an interesting one. Many people argue the over-reliance on super-wealthy homebuyers in the super-prime housing sector actually puts the city at risk of becoming sterile, and makes it even harder for ordinary people to afford to live in the city (on the basis that the less-wealthy-but-still-wealthy people get pushed into other areas and push others out, and each group from then on does similar to the group below them...). Some of these apparently positive factors have good and bad about them.

Amy Rogers Nazarov
Amy Rogers Nazarov  
1/20/2014 11:32:16 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Everywhere's at risk from something
On the other hand, what about five cities that are rising? Those that are not yet great, but have the potential to be?

They'd need to be, say, green in their outlook and building practices, have healthy citizens, be attractive to potential residents, feature solid educational systems, be culturally rich, be relatively corruption-free or intolerant of it, etc. Who might hang out in that vaunted category? Portland, ME? Oslo? Seoul? Kind of thinking aloud here... but it's an interesting exercise to turn this on its head. 

Signed, Glass Half Full

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