Improving a community

In urban areas within cities there are often bad, rundown and less safe communities. Municipal governments look to revamp these communities and improve them in all facets. They have several ways of trying to achieve this but not all of them work out like they hope. Much of the time the plans revolve around a major construction effort. This can be a higher end condominium or arena.

I haven’t seen a truly unique or innovative solution to this issue so if anyone else has, I would be happy to hear about it. So far, I have observed that condominium projects, combined with relocating the current tenants and building higher end retail businesses to support the new development works far better than a sports arena. However, governments of larger cities often go for the arena idea. Building a sports arena that will be home to a professional sports team and concerts is often times more expensive and requires tax payers to help pay for it.

Many mayors like the idea of tax payers from in and out of the city footing part of the bill for obvious reasons, but in the end it usually does not effectively make the community much better. The reason is simple. When you build a sports arena then a lot of people visit it and work in it, but that does not mean they will live near it. The hope is that residences will naturally follow because of the number of people now in that area. However, it has been shown in countless cities that this does not happen much of the time. You are left with a nice arena surrounded by the same bad community you had before and unhappy tax payers to go along with it.

Instead, a new condo with surrounding retail spaces means that higher income people will live there and it will usually only require private money, leaving tax payers out of it. This has successfully been done in many major cities across North America and should be the go to solution until something better is thought of.

The problem is that municipal governments can’t get over the idea of free money (tax payers, partly from outside that city) and that it will create more jobs than a condo. However, jobs in this situation is not the connecting factor because after all, the under employed current tenants will be relocated anyway and the people moving in already have good jobs. Mayors across North America and their constituents should recognize this and not fall in to the sports arena trap in the future.