Will Freshening Up Main Street Help Clean Up Wall Street?

In this world of sprawling communities, commercial plazas and vacant downtowns, Architect Magazine is timidly crossing its fingers, hoping that the newly-created Federal Office of Urban Affairs will breathe new life into the neglected urban core of communities across the country and maybe even right this country’s economic course.

Reporter Mimi Zeiger states that “the subprime mortgage bust reminds us that cities just can't support ever-more-attenuated subdivisions and strip malls.” President Obama believes “if you want a thriving suburban area, then you better have a thriving city. If you want a state as a whole to do well, then the metropolitan areas in that state have to do well. There is no separation. It is all linked together. We have to get past this notion that we can just leave the cities to rot, because your economy will rot."

The article encourages insfrastructure spending on downtown shopping areas, parks, green development and the like. Perhaps once our local streets and towns are gleaming some of that shine will rub off on Wall Street.

To learn more about the Office of Urban Affairs and one writer’s opinions regarding its potentials and pitfalls please see Neal Peirce’s article “Hope for Metro Regions in New White House Office?”

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