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Old June 26th, 2011, 01:48 AM   #1
Boba Fett22
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Do all cities deserve urban regeneration and investment?

This is similar to another thread I created but I just want to expand on the issue. (I want to ask a wider audience).

This site is about the urban regeneration of cities. It's also a chance for us to see cities that some of us may never get to see.

However, I'm just wondering do all cities deserve financial investment and urban regeneration?

I only ask this because a German girl told me that Belfast, where I'm from, did not deserve prosperity and that we did not deserve to enjoy the same things that people in other cities enjoy because Belfast is not important enough on the world stage. Is she right, do we not deserve investment and urban regeneration for that reason?

I don't want this to be just about Belfast but this girl also told me that Belfast gets a lot of financial assistance from the EU and that we should be grateful. What she didn't seem to understand was that if we got investment we wouldn't be in the position were have to rely on the EU and others financially, at least not as much.

Do cities get investment because they are important or does investment make cities important?
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Old June 26th, 2011, 02:14 AM   #2
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In terms of the EU I'm against it distrubuting aid unequally - just as I'm agains member nations not paying the same per capita..

It's not my job to pay for renovation or investment in Ireland - that money would be much better spend on my own nation as that is where I live and will grow old..


Irish cities is the responsibility of the Irish Government and people - and if they can't do the job tough luck.. urban investment is not a life or death situation, so until it becomes that foreign cash should not granted at a level that doesn't go equally to all memberstates..


To put it simple you can't create a market when there is none - and by the time there is a market it will sort itself out..
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Old June 26th, 2011, 02:26 AM   #3
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I think you've misunderstood.

Like I wrote, I don't want this just about Belfast but when I say/write "investment" I'm not talking about handing out the begging bowl to the EU. I'm talking about private investment that would make us more prosperous in our right and less reliant on EU, Westminster and others.

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It's not my job to pay for renovation or investment in Ireland

I didn't say it was.
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Old June 26th, 2011, 03:09 AM   #4
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To answer the OP's question I would say certain cities that adapt to economic changes are more deserving of investment. Cities in the US for example that were sucessful in changing from an economy based on manufacturing to service industries such as Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Chicago among other examples are proof of this. Alternatively other cities such as Flint, Gary, and Youngstown have continued to see businesses and residents fleeing the city and even the metro area because they have made no effort to attract new businesses to diversify their economy until it was too late.

Cities just like people have to adapt with the times.
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Old June 26th, 2011, 03:35 AM   #5
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Actually, Belfast is the responsibility of the British government, not the Irish. To answer Boba- I think all cities deserve investment and success. In the long run it is beneficial for the city, country and the EU on a whole.
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Old June 26th, 2011, 03:55 AM   #6
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To answer the OP's question I would say certain cities that adapt to economic changes are more deserving of investment.
Interesting. Although on further reading are you saying that cities that do this or more likely to get investment or are you actually saying that cities that do this are more "deserving" of investment. As someone said to me "Why does anywhere not deserve investment?"

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it is beneficial for the city, country and the EU on a whole.
True.
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Old June 26th, 2011, 04:05 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boba Fett22 View Post
I think you've misunderstood.

Like I wrote, I don't want this just about Belfast but when I say/write "investment" I'm not talking about handing out the begging bowl to the EU. I'm talking about private investment that would make us more prosperous in our right and less reliant on EU, Westminster and others.
I think I misunderstood too..

As I said if there is a market it will fix itself - "supply and demand" - if there isn't then there isn't and the place will have to live with that..


Any place that can create a market deserves investment - but trying to create it artificially as have been seen ( lowering corporate taxes may draw companies in but as can be seen it's no magic wand ) well that like building a house on sand - it can certainly be done, but it won't be in mint condition forever.. and keeping it in mint can be very costly rather than letting nature run it's course..
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Old June 26th, 2011, 04:09 AM   #8
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( lowering corporate taxes may draw companies in but as can bee seen it's no magic wand )
I take it you know about the campaign.
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Old June 26th, 2011, 07:54 AM   #9
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I think this is more appropriate for Citytalk than the Skybar.
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Old June 26th, 2011, 01:16 PM   #10
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I suppose you're right.

Sorry.
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Old June 26th, 2011, 04:35 PM   #11
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In terms of the EU I'm against it distrubuting aid unequally - just as I'm agains member nations not paying the same per capita..
So you actually say, that independently of GDP all member states should pay the same per capita? Wow, thats the first time I hear such a thing to be demanded, I don't even know nationalists doing so... well apart from you now.

But let us look at the consequences of your demands. They mean of course that you are against any useful European budget. But that does not surprise me as you essentially opposed to the EU as a whole.

Just one example: EU funded pan European research programs. There are lot of them and the granted on merit of the applications. What you suggest is, that they are strictly given not on their merit but strictly according to national quotas. That means if the best applications come from the wrong country, they are not getting any funds.

Surely this is a great concept of boosting European research.



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It's not my job to pay for renovation or investment in Ireland - that money would be much better spend on my own nation as that is where I live and will grow old..
Ok, it is little surprise, that you already know that you are going to live and die in your own fatherland. But nonetheless I contest your notion that what happens in some subsidized remote corner of Denmark personally affects you.
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Old June 26th, 2011, 10:47 PM   #12
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I disagree with the conclusion of the OP's German friend. We definitively do not want half of the population of Europe concentrated in just 8-15 (at most) cities that are "important in the World stage". I think the continent is better with a more balanced, but not too balanced, network of cities.

I honestly think a model like Germany, Italy and, to a certain extent, Spain is better in the long run than countries like United Kingdom or France where one metro area dominates the whole country. This is not to said I don't like Paris or London, just that the implications (on the economy, demographics, logistics, markets, talent development) of such concentrations are not good for the countries in the long run.

This being said, I also disagree with some of the usual counter-arguments, heard often in both sides to the Atlantic, namely the ones proposing:
  • that every 40.000-souls city needs a ton of investment to make them grow up to international recognition.
  • that the urban hierarchy among cities in a country is a given and should not change, ever
  • that the amalgamation of less populated cities physically close as one practical urban body is negative

What is important is that a city find a set of vocations in which it can thrive. Beyond the 1st tier of cities with "worldwide recognition", it doesn't have to be something particularly original. In the past, this was quite easy, as business and economic activities depended pretty much on the immediate surroundings. Nowadays, it's much more tricky. Simply pumping money in shinny renovation or construction projects, alone, will not do the job, unless it is a tourist-focused project only. But even that is not absolutely of a guarantee of success: trends change, destinations can become "worn up" and they always need to reinvent themselves. Sure, the Colosseum, Taj Mahal and likewise famous sites do not need "reinvention", but there is only so much success to be made from sightseeing.

But much of the success or failure of a place depends not only on how nice or neat its historical buildings are (though crumbling streets are always a minus). It also depends on road, air and rail connections, how the bureaucracy helps or not the the city etc.
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Old June 27th, 2011, 02:32 AM   #13
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I don't know why he'd take views of some moron seriously in the first place. Whether one fixes up a city depends on what people who don't live there think? That's the most absurd rationale I've heard all year.



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Do cities get investment because they are important or does investment make cities important?
Is it April Fool's Day today? You can't honestly be serious.
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Old June 27th, 2011, 04:35 AM   #14
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I don't know why he'd take views of some moron seriously in the first place. Whether one fixes up a city depends on what people who don't live there think? That's the most absurd rationale I've heard all year.

Exactly, exactly I know she's talking crap. I just want to see if others agree.

I said to her "It would be good if Belfast got some investment" and she said "Don't get me wrong, but what's so important about Belfast." Implying that we don't deserve prosperity. It wouldn't be so bad, but she also gave me a lecture on how the EU has helped us financially and how we should be grateful...If we're not allowed to be prosperous, how are ever supposed to get to the stage were we are not a financial burden on the EU?

I will admit this girl has gotten under my skin.

A guy I know from New York state who lives here in Belfast was so incensed by what she said. I thought he was gonna kick the crap out of her.

He told she was a bitch for saying what she did. He told that she is very rude. He told me that she is very happy to come over here and take jobs away from people from here, but she's saying we don't deserve to enjoy the same things that people in other cities enjoy.

He said "Belfast doesn't deserve investment?..she's insane." He told me that no city does not deserve prosperity.

People would come over here and criticize us for not having what other cities have. No one else has said we don't deserve to have what other cities have.

I've always said, are people really telling me whether or not Belfast gets investment is dependent on whether or not some girl in Germany thinks we deserve it or not?

It's funny, because of all the countries in continental Europe, I think Germany is one of Northern Ireland's biggest investors.

But you're right, I shouldn't pay attention to her.

My question again why does any city not deserve investment?

Thinking about this winds me up. I'm gonna have to calm down. I need to go to sleep soon.
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Old June 27th, 2011, 06:03 AM   #15
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It wouldn't be so bad, but she also gave me a lecture on how the EU has helped us financially and how we should be grateful...If we're not allowed to be prosperous, how are ever supposed to get to the stage were we are not a financial burden on the EU?
You should have told her that Northern Ireland is part of the UK, which contributes more to the EU than it receives.
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Old June 27th, 2011, 06:06 AM   #16
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as long as the place has good urban bones and wants to keep them and improve on it then the answer is yes. If the "city" is bent on being the world's largest suburb then the answer is Hell No.......
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Old June 27th, 2011, 11:12 AM   #17
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UK, which contributes more to the EU than it receives.
Really?
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Old June 27th, 2011, 01:54 PM   #18
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Interesting. Although on further reading are you saying that cities that do this or more likely to get investment or are you actually saying that cities that do this are more "deserving" of investment. As someone said to me "Why does anywhere not deserve investment?"
In retrospect I am saying that a city's leadership have to make efforts to attract investment if they wish to stay viable in the future. Cities that have invested in higher education facilities, tourist attractions, infastructure, etc tend to attract outside investment and in the process revitalize neighborhoods. Cities like Gary, Indiana on the otherhand have relied on manufacturing and have made no effort to make the city livable including reducing crime, improving the education system, etc despite some advantages such as being close to Chicago. There are plenty of other examples I can give as well.
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Old June 27th, 2011, 02:50 PM   #19
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Quote:
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I said to her "It would be good if Belfast got some investment" and she said "Don't get me wrong, but what's so important about Belfast." Implying that we don't deserve prosperity. It wouldn't be so bad, but she also gave me a lecture on how the EU has helped us financially and how we should be grateful...If we're not allowed to be prosperous, how are ever supposed to get to the stage were we are not a financial burden on the EU?
What do you mean ''if we're not allowed to be prosperous''? Are people in Belfast sitting around waiting for permission and subsidies from the EU before taking action to get more prosperous?

Cities shouldn't become dependent on EU funds, their dependency will mean other countries will have power over them. Do you really want EU bureaucrats having control over the financial situation of your city? They are not all noble politicians you know, they'll screw you over if there's something to gain from it.
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Old June 27th, 2011, 03:59 PM   #20
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What do you mean ''if we're not allowed to be prosperous''? Are people in Belfast sitting around waiting for permission and subsidies from the EU before taking action to get more prosperous?
Not at all.
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