Alachua Voter Guide

Where all politics is local…

Are We the Next Detroit?

April 26, 2013 By: Don Marsh Category: Local Issues, Media

Gainesville and Alachua County seem to have a love affair with antiquated technologies: wood-burning power plant, bus mass transit, light rail studies, trolley cars, bike lanes. These are all huge infrastructure costs; all bets against the proliferation of lower power devices, telecommuting, the freedom that the private automobile brings, and many people’s preference for riding their bikes on the sidewalks.

When I ask, “Are we the next Detroit?” I don’t mean it in a good way. I mean that we can learn from cities that made investments that didn’t pay off. Please listen to this podcast. Save it to your hard drive and put it on your iPod, or just let it play while you are working on other things, like improving your score on Angry Birds.

Click to play


Edward Glaeser of Harvard University and author of The Triumph of Cities talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about American cities. The conversation begins with a discussion of the history of Detroit over the last century and its current plight. What might be done to improve Detroit’s situation? Why are other cities experiencing similar challenges to those facing Detroit? Why are some cities thriving and growing? What policies might help ailing cities and what policies have helped those cities that succeed? The conversation concludes with a discussion of why cities have such potential for growth.

1 Comments to “Are We the Next Detroit?”

  1. The GREC contract has been breached but the fact is suppressed by the so called “partners”. This breach was caused by GREC transferring a controlling interest in the company without giving the city a first option of refusal.
    Everything possible needs to be done to get this on a front burner and keep it there.
    Any and all discussions of the unnecessary and financially irresponsible 30 year overpriced biomass contract should include reference to this breach.

    We also need to push for refund of the fuel overcharges and lowering the fuel adjustment charge immediately. This will demonstrate the true rate impact and stop the shell game that is being played to provide political cover for those responsible for making the mistakes that got us into this mess.

    There will be request that the city commission: (1) make a motion to accomplish these two things at the first scheduled city commission meeting

    Getting a motion/second will force a vote and require commissioners to take a position. We win both ways. If refund is approved, people will learn how badly they have been taken advantage of by GRU/City Commission over the past three years. A refund will also help expose the true rate impact which accelerates the necessary political change.


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