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View Full Version : St. Louis Exodus Continues, Population Down Another 8%; Leaders Shocked...



megimoo
02-25-2011, 03:26 PM
St. Louis is losing residents, according to U.S. Census figures released Thursday, and the population decline goes deeper than being another blow to the proud city’s image....The drop will mean a financial loss that could cost the already cash-strapped Gateway City millions of dollars.

Figures from the 2010 census were a bitter disappointment, as the city’s population dipped to 319,294.
That’s down more than 29,000 – a staggering 8 percent – from 2000. ....For St. Louis leaders, the news was doubly disappointing because they were expecting to see an increase.

“It is absolutely bad news,” Mayor Francis Slay said. “We thought after more than 50 years of population decline that the city had finally changed direction. Obviously, that’s not the case.”...The census numbers are more than an ego shot to a community already fighting an image of high crime and poorly performing schools.

Federal funding for many of the city’s programs is tied to population.....“It will mean a significant loss in federal dollars over the next 10 years,” Slay said....St. Louis was the nation’s eighth-largest city with a population of 856,795 in 1950. Now, for a couple of decades, it hasn’t even been Missouri’s largest city.

Kansas City’s population grew to 460,000 in the latest census, widening the gap over St. Louis, though the St. Louis metro area remains significantly larger.

Since the mid-20th century, the exodus of St. Louis residents to the suburbs has been startling. And people keep moving farther away from the urban core. St. Louis County lost population in 2010 for the first time, down 1.7 percent to 998,954 in 2010, as residents relocate to communities like St. Charles, O’Fallon, Wentzville and Troy.

“This is a time for an urgent rethinking of how we do everything as a region,” Slay said. “If this doesn’t jump-start a discussion about the city re-entering the county and how we start thinking more as a region, nothing will.”

St. Louis is unique in that it is its own county....St. Louis city and St. Louis County are completely separate entities....Slay said that leads to redundancies of service that are unnecessary.....Steven S. Smith, a public policy professor at Washington University in St. Louis, agrees that something needs to change...“The challenges are really quite substantial,” Smith said.

“How do you attract business? How do you maintain neighborhoods? How do you prevent continuing decay and abandonment which, when it gets to a certain point, leads to a downward spiral?”...A census estimate on July 1, 2009, forecasted that the city’s population of 348,189 in 2000 had grown to 356,587.

http://stlouis.cbslocal.com/2011/02/25/residents-flee-st-louis-especially-north-city-over-last-decade/

Apocalypse
02-25-2011, 07:40 PM
I'm not. Any one drive through S.L. lately?

Its a hell-hole. Dirty and unsafe to put it mildly.

noonwitch
02-28-2011, 08:48 AM
I'm reading an interesting book, called The Triumph of The City by Edward Glaeser. I'm only a couple of chapters into it, but the second chapter is about the decline of cities like Detroit and St. Louis. His theory is that most of these cities made the mistake of investing in structures and not in the things that keep people around. He uses Detroit mostly as his example, and specific things like the People Mover and the Renaissance Center that cost billions of dollars while the schools declined rapidly and the crime rates soared.


It's an interesting theory. The Detroit example is even more complex, being a one industry city and all.

Novaheart
02-28-2011, 11:28 AM
I'm reading an interesting book, called The Triumph of The City by Edward Glaeser. I'm only a couple of chapters into it, but the second chapter is about the decline of cities like Detroit and St. Louis. His theory is that most of these cities made the mistake of investing in structures and not in the things that keep people around. He uses Detroit mostly as his example, and specific things like the People Mover and the Renaissance Center that cost billions of dollars while the schools declined rapidly and the crime rates soared.


It's an interesting theory. The Detroit example is even more complex, being a one industry city and all.

I've been questioning what I call "Big Cookie Economics" for decades. When they built Harbor Place in Baltimore, my friends and I piled into a car (which we would have done anyway on any given day) and drove to Baltimore (any destination would have done) to go see Harbor Place.

There we found the hopes and dreams of new entrants to the merchant class mixed with some old standbys. The newbies had their elegant wares displayed like a museum, with prices to match. And people were walking around with little bags of big cookies. I saw people eating and drinking, but other than that I didn't see a lot of buying.

When St Pete decided to ruin the Thunderdome and sell its soul to a baseball team, they said, "It will revitalize downtown." Well, a lot of downtown has been revitalized, but not because of any business the baseball team brought. The team isn't there to share, they want to strip every loose dollar from everyone who attends. The revitalization happened because the city spent some money cleaning up Central Avenue and because the real estate market was going nuts. At the same time, the younger folks managed to break the death grip on St Pete that the oldies had- the oldies being people who claimed they wanted the city to thrive, as long as everyone was quiet and in bed by 9:30. There are now several blocks of boarded up stuff that was working low end stuff until some "entrepreneur" got it all tangled up and then fell through in the finish. So, these things come and go.

Odysseus
02-28-2011, 11:32 AM
“How do you attract business? How do you maintain neighborhoods? How do you prevent continuing decay and abandonment which, when it gets to a certain point, leads to a downward spiral?”...A census estimate on July 1, 2009, forecasted that the city’s population of 348,189 in 2000 had grown to 356,587.

http://stlouis.cbslocal.com/2011/02/25/residents-flee-st-louis-especially-north-city-over-last-decade/

They might ask Rudy Giuliani how a declining city can be brought back from the brink, if they are willing to listen to a Republican.

noonwitch
02-28-2011, 01:08 PM
They might ask Rudy Giuliani how a declining city can be brought back from the brink, if they are willing to listen to a Republican.


The author uses NYC as a counterpoint to Detroit, and points to the fact that NY had a more diverse economy than Detroit, but that Koch and Guliani focused on reducing crime to a degree that was effective, whereas the Detroit mayors of the time (Kavanagh and Young) built big edifices and did nothing to actually improve the quality of life for the residents.

The author believes that cities make a crucial mistake when they invest in buildings and not in people. He has a very good point about Detroit, in that sense. There was a lot of building going on in Detroit in the 70s, when they couldn't even fill all the buildings that were already there (commercial and housing).

Bailey
02-28-2011, 01:17 PM
Wish the 1st basemen for the cards would flee for the phillies :D

Novaheart
02-28-2011, 01:17 PM
We've gotten too good at mitigating fires and natural disasters. The ancient cities have been destroyed or cleared in whole or in part many times over the centuries. When New Orleans was evacuated the city saw an opportunity to undo a century of decay, and they have been fought at every turn. Detroit needs to be destroyed.

noonwitch
02-28-2011, 01:32 PM
We've gotten too good at mitigating fires and natural disasters. The ancient cities have been destroyed or cleared in whole or in part many times over the centuries. When New Orleans was evacuated the city saw an opportunity to undo a century of decay, and they have been fought at every turn. Detroit needs to be destroyed.


1. Detroit still occupies a strategic location for international commerce, by being located on the Great Lakes and on the border with Canada. Canadians don't want to route their business transportation through Niagra if the destination is to points west.

2. There are still roughly 750,000 people residing in the city of Detroit. If the city is destroyed, what do you propose is done with the people who will be displaced? Can they move into your neighborhood, even if they can't afford the houses?

Odysseus
02-28-2011, 05:43 PM
The author uses NYC as a counterpoint to Detroit, and points to the fact that NY had a more diverse economy than Detroit, but that Koch and Guliani focused on reducing crime to a degree that was effective, whereas the Detroit mayors of the time (Kavanagh and Young) built big edifices and did nothing to actually improve the quality of life for the residents.

The author believes that cities make a crucial mistake when they invest in buildings and not in people. He has a very good point about Detroit, in that sense. There was a lot of building going on in Detroit in the 70s, when they couldn't even fill all the buildings that were already there (commercial and housing).
More importantly, the cities make a mistake when they crush the tax base. Koch arrested NYC's decline, but didn't reverse it. Dinkins managed to get the city into freefall again, and Rudy reversed the collapse and began the city's recovery. The differences were that Koch was lucky in that NYC benefitted from the stock market booms of the 80s and was flush with tax revenues, but Koch put that money into hiring more employees, instead of restructuring debt and reducing taxes. Dinkins raised taxes, drove out businesses, then raised taxes again to make up the revenue shortfalls. Rudy cut taxes and tried to reduce regulatory bureaucracy. He also addressed quality of life issues, such as crime, which Dinkins had ignored or exacerbated with needless hostility to the NYPD.

We've gotten too good at mitigating fires and natural disasters. The ancient cities have been destroyed or cleared in whole or in part many times over the centuries. When New Orleans was evacuated the city saw an opportunity to undo a century of decay, and they have been fought at every turn. Detroit needs to be destroyed.
Hasn't it already been? I mean, how would you be able to tell if it were?

2. There are still roughly 750,000 people residing in the city of Detroit. If the city is destroyed, what do you propose is done with the people who will be displaced? Can they move into your neighborhood, even if they can't afford the houses?

The Romans did very well with Carthage. Perhaps we just need to buy a bunch of salt? :D