Goal 1: Economic Sustainability

This is the first of a three-part introduction that will lay the foundation for this blog’s ethos: creating a progressive and sustainable Central New York community. Here we will focus initially on economic sustainability, with the understanding that this encompasses more than just creating jobs.

When we speak of economic sustainability, we really mean creating and maintaining long-term jobs in high-growth industries which recognize that our cities are in a state of great change, and seize on the opportunity to explore new technologies and embrace sustainable growth.

The second part of economic sustainability focuses on, of course, sustainability. Syracuse has already bestowed on itself the title of “Emerald City”, now it is time to live up to our new motto. Below is a non-exhaustive list of several steps that could/should be taken in order to advance the goals of economic sustainability. These goals and others will build the foundation for discussions on this blog.

Ten Goals for Economic Sustainability

  1. Create one cohesive umbrella organization which can effectively advocate on behalf of the various neighborhood and economic development groups sprinkled throughout the city, which include: Armory Square, Eastwood Neighborhood Association, Greater Strathmore Neighborhood Association, Lincoln Hill Association, Near West Side Initiative, Outer Comstock Neighborhood Association, Sedgwick Farm Neighborhood Association, Tipperary Hill Neighborhood Association, Westcott East Neighborhood Association and all of the  various community watch, religious groups and others we haven’t mentioned.
  2. Cultivate high-growth industry clusters throughout the city. We should refuse to accept WalMart development deals which do not create long-term jobs which pay a living wage, economic sustainability or a focus on the future.
  3. Invest in our area’s economic infrastructure, which includes fulfilling the long-discussed goal of a major transportation terminal.
  4. Create a city-wide bikeway system, which would encourage the use of bicycles for commuting and reduce traffic and alleviate parking issues.
  5. Ensure that rapid rail and commuter rail lines promote public transportation and change the way we think about cars and trains.
  6. Invest in a public internet structure which provides free wireless internet throughout the city, giving all people who have computers access to information. This needs to be coupled with more access to computers for those without them.
  7. Target specific industries for infrastructure investments, including biomedical research, media, arts and culture, and green energy research (solar, wind, etc.).
  8. Establish more green space and parks and making sure that impoverished neighborhoods have as many parks as the wealthier neighborhoods.
  9. Tear down I-81.
  10. Create an urban land bank which would allow the government to create shovel-ready sites to those industries targeted for infrastructure support.

This list is not meant to be complete, and is certainly open for a lot of debate (on the I-81 issue, see Onondaga Citizens League). Feel free to join in.

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