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Author Topic: 'Youth Magnet' Cities  (Read 2124 times)
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« on: May 18, 2009, 03:45:44 pm »

Tyler Carney, a 29-year-old computer programmer, moved here from Tulsa, Okla. in September when the Internet-security company he was working for relocated to downtown Portland. He was laid off two months later, and today is living off the $417 in weekly unemployment checks. He has trimmed expenses, such as cutting out restaurant meals, ending cable and switching to slower Internet service. Mr. Carney is spending most of his days job-hunting, but has no plans to go back to Tulsa anytime soon. "Portland is a little more progressive than Tulsa was, as far as the culture goes," he says. "This town is awesome. Tulsa tended to roll up the streets at night." - dang!


'Youth Magnet' Cities Hit Midlife Crisis
Few Jobs in Places Like Portland and Austin, but the Hipsters Just Keep on Coming.

.By CONOR DOUGHERTY - Wall Street Journal

PORTLAND, Ore. -- In October, as the stock market tanked and the economy shed 400,000 jobs, Matt Singer moved from Oxnard, Calif. to Portland, Ore. He didn't have a job, but he was attracted to the city's offbeat culture and hungered for change. Mr. Singer's plan was to get an editing or writing gig at an alternative weekly newspaper, the job he was doing in California.

Seven months later, the 26-year-old is still without a steady job -- and still here. "I wasn't really aware of how bad the job situation was at the time," says Mr. Singer.

This drizzly city along the Willamette River has for years been among the most popular urban magnets for college graduates looking to start their careers in a small city of like-minded folks. Now the jobs are drying up, but the people are still coming. The influx of new residents is part of the reason the unemployment rate in the Portland metropolitan area has more than doubled to 11.8% over the past year, and is now above the national average of 8.9%.

City of Youth
View Slideshow

Sean Flanigan for The Wall Street Journal
 
Bike messengers take a coffee break in Portland.
.More photos and interactive graphics
.Some new arrivals are burning through their savings as they hunt for jobs that no longer exist. Some are returning home. Others are settling for low-paying jobs they are overqualified for.

With his search for a journalism job coming up short, Mr. Singer has spent thousands in savings, and is now earning $12 an hour at a temporary job scanning loan documents, a task he says is so mind-numbing he listens to his iPod all day. "Careerwise, it's definitely not what I'd like to be doing," says Mr. Singer.

The worst recession in a generation is disrupting migration patterns and overturning lives across the country. Yet, cities like Portland, along with Austin, Texas, Seattle and others, continue to be draws for the young, educated workers that communities and employers covet. What these cities share is a hard-to-quantify blend of climate, natural beauty, universities and -- more than anything else -- a reputation as a cool place to live. For now, an excess of young workers is adding to the ranks of the unemployed. But holding on to these people through the downturn will help cities turn around once the economy recovers.

Portland has attracted college-educated, single people between the ages of 25 and 39 at a higher rate than most other cities in the country. Between 1995 and 2000, the city added 268 people in that demographic group for every 1,000 of the same group living there in 1995, according to the Census Bureau. Only four other metropolitan areas had a higher ratio. The author of the Census report on these "youth magnet" cities, Rachel Franklin, now deputy director the Association of American Geographers, says the Portland area's critical mass of young professionals means it has a "sustained attractiveness" for other young people looking for a place to settle down.

 .Indeed, the trend has appeared to continue. Between 2005 and 2007, only eight metropolitan areas -- many of them bigger -- added more college-educated migrants of any age than did Portland, the nation's 23rd largest metro area, according to an analysis of Census data by William H. Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution. A more detailed breakdown by age isn't yet available, but Mr. Frey and other demographers say the bulk of the movers are likely between the ages of 25 and 39, the most mobile age group by far.

Portland's bleak job market might seem like a reason to stay away, but some of the newcomers say the pull of a different city is greater than the fear of unemployment. Some had already lost their jobs where they used to live, so there wasn't much keeping them there.

"A lot of people figure there aren't jobs anywhere, so they might as well be where they want to be," says Mark McMullen, a senior economist at Moody's economy.com.

Portland isn't discouraging the young and educated from coming, though the glut of workers puts more stress on city services. One of the most important factors in a city's economic success is the education level of its work force, says Harvard University economist Edward Glaeser. Cities such as Detroit and Cleveland that have exported college graduates in recent years are trying to retain them with everything from internship programs to building artists' lofts.

"I'm hopeful people will stick around," says Portland mayor Sam Adams. "Even if they come to my city without a job, it is still an economic plus."

As migration within the U.S. slows as jobs disappear and home prices fall, Portland is one of the few cities to which people of all ages are moving. Of the top 25 destinations for domestic migrants between July 2006 and July 2007, before the recession started, Census data show only four drew more people in the subsequent 12 months, between July 2007 and July 2008, when the U.S. was in recession, according to an analysis by Mr. Frey.

View Full Image

Sean Flanigan for The Wall Street Journal
 
Unemployment has soared in Portland, Ore., but the young keep coming.
.The four places: Portland, Seattle, Denver, and Houston, which in addition to attracting college graduates, enjoyed a boom fueled by high oil prices. In Seattle, the number of people in the labor force, both working and looking for work, has continued to grow faster than the national average, even though there are fewer jobs.

The inflow of young college grads helped change Portland's economy over the past two decades. Most notably, it contributed to an increase in the fraction of Oregon workers with college degrees to 28.3% in 2007 (above the national average of 27.5%) from 19.5% in 1990 (below the national average of 21.3%), according to Moody's Economy.com. Of course, some of that increase came from older educated migrants, as well as homegrown college graduates.

Portland's culture and businesses have come to reflect the city's youthful edge. Among U.S. metro areas with more than a million people, only Seattle -- another magnet for the young and educated -- has more coffee shops per capita than Portland, according to NPD Group. Roughly 8% of Portlanders commute regularly by bike, the highest proportion of any major U.S. city and about 10 times the national average, according to Boulder, Colo., bike-advocacy group Bikes Belong.

Andrew McGough, executive director of Worksystems Inc., a Portland nonprofit that helps people find work, says he's seen young people continue to stream into the city even as the economy has worsened. "Assuming they are educated, we like it," says Mr. McGough, who moved to Portland himself without a job in the early 1990s.

Portland's vibrant music scene was part of what drew Ryan Suarez, a 28-year-old civil engineer, from San Diego two years ago. In February 2007, when Portland's unemployment rate was about half what it is today, Mr. Suarez took a one-week trip to scout for jobs, lined up five interviews -- and got five offers. But construction work has slowed with the rest of the economy. Mr. Suarez says his firm has had two rounds of layoffs; he survived, but took a 20% wage cut. "Things have changed a lot," he says.

View Full Image

Sean Flanigan for The Wall Street Journal
 
Matt Singer at the rental home he shares with three other people in Portland, Ore. He has been without steady work for seven months.
.Tyler Carney, a 29-year-old computer programmer, moved here from Tulsa, Okla. in September when the Internet-security company he was working for relocated to downtown Portland. He was laid off two months later, and today is living off the $417 in weekly unemployment checks. He has trimmed expenses, such as cutting out restaurant meals, ending cable and switching to slower Internet service. Mr. Carney is spending most of his days job-hunting, but has no plans to go back to Tulsa anytime soon. "Portland is a little more progressive than Tulsa was, as far as the culture goes," he says. "This town is awesome. Tulsa tended to roll up the streets at night."

Scott Thompson, president of Lexicon Staffing, Inc. in the Portland area, says the information technology staffing firm continues to get calls from new arrivals looking for work. Many, he says, are less interested in jobs and more interested in Portland's quality of life, such as the city's proximity to the Oregon coastline and the Cascade Mountains. "You have to wonder what would inspire someone to walk into a situation where you have higher than U.S. average unemployment rate," he says.

For Brian DeGrush, 28, it's a visit he paid to the city two years ago to see friends. He says he loved the social life and the green landscape, and when he went back about a month ago with his girlfriend, it was to scout out jobs and neighborhoods to live in. On Saturday, he graduates from the MBA program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, but hasn't yet found a job.

If he doesn't find work soon, Mr. DeGrush says he and his girlfriend will probably just move to Portland over the summer and hope for the best. "We're debating just trying to find part-time stuff and scrounging by until something more permanent opens up," he says.

Journal Communitydiscuss..“ Lots of educated and motivated people with no place to put their skills to work. This is a sad state of affairs.

.— Carla Livak.
 As unemployment has risen, businesses have felt the pain. So many restaurants have closed in recent months that the Portland alternative newspaper Willamette Week recently started a column called "Restaurant Apocalypse" to keep track of closings. "Everybody is holding on to their money," says Ryan Birkland, a Portland artist who does abstract paintings of flowers and koi fish on glass, sheet metal and other recycled materials. Mr. Birkland sells art across a range of prices, but says sales of $400 to $500 pieces, which are mostly purchased by young professionals, are down about 25% compared with this time last year.

The scarcity of jobs has college grads competing for positions they might not have considered just a few years ago. HotLips Pizza, a local institution that touts ingredients from nearby farms and whose owner drives a stubby electric car emblazoned with the restaurant's rouge lips logo, recently posted a job for a sous-chef and got hundreds of résumés in the space of a few days. They were both over- and under-qualified, ranging from the executive chefs at fine dining restaurants that have closed to unemployed computer technicians with zero experience in a kitchen. "People are having a harder time landing," said Greene Lawson, HotLips' chef.

View Full Image

Sean Flanigan for The Wall Street Journal
 
Patrons at the Stumpown Coffee shop in Portland, Ore.
.Boly:Welch Recruiting, a Portland firm, says it has had several lawyers willing to settle for work as paralegals. The firm says it generally won't place the lawyers because their over-qualification makes it unlikely they would continue to do paralegal work when the economy turns.

Stephen Anderson, 28, a lawyer who moved in June to Portland from Austin, says for now, he's happy being over-qualified. He went to Boly:Welch looking for legal or temp work of any kind, and the recruiting firm ended up hiring him to be an assistant to the firm's recruiters, a job that includes answering phones, getting lunches and occasionally walking the owner's two poodles. "I know I'm underemployed and if it bothered me more, I guess I'd do more to change it," he says.

Of course, less-educated migrants are being squeezed, too. Chris McGee, a 29-year-old concrete finisher moved to Oregon about four years ago from Philadelphia to follow his then-girfriend. Mr. McGee was out of work for seven months and exhausted his unemployment benefits. But after applying for dozens of jobs at convenience stores, fast-food restaurants and other places, he finally got a job washing dishes. "It's just to stop the bleeding in my bank account," he says. "I'm thankful for it, but it's just temporary."

With jobs scarce, some Portland newcomers are going home. Adam Pollock, 36, moved from New York to Portland in December, lured largely by the natural beauty and vibrant cycling scene. "In New York, if you want to get anywhere decent you have to battle traffic for a half-hour on either end of the ride," he said. Mr. Pollock, a computer consultant, rented a small apartment with a month-to-month lease, figuring he'd trade up after he found a job.

He spent months sending out résumés and trying to drum up consulting work. He looked for work as a bicycle mechanic and as a barista at some coffee shops. As his savings ran out, he finally punted. "It got to the point where, fiscally, the clock had run out," he said in a recent phone interview from Louisville, Ky. He was visiting relatives on his way back to New York.

Write to Conor Dougherty at conor.dougherty@wsj.com
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« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2009, 05:51:14 pm »

We are all, I hope, familiar with the maxim that young people are flocking to "hip" cities first, then worrying about jobs second. Tulsa is known for losing its young, creative class, workforce and job creators. And to really drive the important factor in this home,,, these are often highly educated, and motivated people who can be big assets in the local economy which "wins" them.

However, we have a unique set of opportunities here which we can take advantage of if we keep pushing forward and progressing.

1. The worse economy in other places gives Tulsa an edge in that as the economy continues to struggle in other areas,,, many will sooner or later be forced to see "better job prospects" as weighing more in the balance of things. However, as the economy recovers in those other places, we lose that advantage again.

2. Tulsa is improving its urban/lively lifestyle options. The next 3-4 years are going to see big changes downtown. This time scale may not help us capture what we have lost, for its a pretty good bet that other cities will also be moving along, improving their competitive advantage as well. We are competing against moving targets. We shoot for one point, but by the time we get there, we realize the "point" has moved again, and we continue to play catch up. So imo, we have to make sure that our decisions put us on a development curve which will propel us ahead of where others will be in the future. Our new comprehensive plan can be such a start. The Pearl District and further implementations of Form Based Codes in more parts of the city. etc. Looking to leap ahead of the curve, not catching up. 

3.  Though some often think of our rapidly growing suburbs and family friendly nature as being a bit of a negative in some ways... However, those families have kids and teens which will grow into the young adults that Tulsa can market itself to.  If it plays its cards right, Tulsa could be this regions "Youth Magnet City". What a coup if we both continue to be known as a great area to raise a family and have kids, but also be known as a great place for young people to go to college, live, work, and play. We are growing our own batch of youth, we just need to keep them here, especially the talented, motivated, driven and intelligent ones, for a change.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2009, 05:53:09 pm by TheArtist » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2009, 08:04:09 pm »

Tyler Carney, a 29-year-old computer programmer, moved here from Tulsa, Okla. in September when the Internet-security company he was working for relocated to downtown Portland. He was laid off two months later, and today is living off the $417 in weekly unemployment checks. He has trimmed expenses, such as cutting out restaurant meals, ending cable and switching to slower Internet service. Mr. Carney is spending most of his days job-hunting, but has no plans to go back to Tulsa anytime soon. "Portland is a little more progressive than Tulsa was, as far as the culture goes," he says. "This town is awesome. Tulsa tended to roll up the streets at night." - dang!


'Youth Magnet' Cities Hit Midlife Crisis
Few Jobs in Places Like Portland and Austin, but the Hipsters Just Keep on Coming.

.By CONOR DOUGHERTY - Wall Street Journal

PORTLAND, Ore. -- In October, as the stock market tanked and the economy shed 400,000 jobs, Matt Singer moved from Oxnard, Calif. to Portland, Ore. He didn't have a job, but he was attracted to the city's offbeat culture and hungered for change. Mr. Singer's plan was to get an editing or writing gig at an alternative weekly newspaper, the job he was doing in California.

Seven months later, the 26-year-old is still without a steady job -- and still here. "I wasn't really aware of how bad the job situation was at the time," says Mr. Singer.

This drizzly city along the Willamette River has for years been among the most popular urban magnets for college graduates looking to start their careers in a small city of like-minded folks. Now the jobs are drying up, but the people are still coming. The influx of new residents is part of the reason the unemployment rate in the Portland metropolitan area has more than doubled to 11.8% over the past year, and is now above the national average of 8.9%.

City of Youth
View Slideshow

Sean Flanigan for The Wall Street Journal
 
Bike messengers take a coffee break in Portland.
.More photos and interactive graphics
.Some new arrivals are burning through their savings as they hunt for jobs that no longer exist. Some are returning home. Others are settling for low-paying jobs they are overqualified for.

With his search for a journalism job coming up short, Mr. Singer has spent thousands in savings, and is now earning $12 an hour at a temporary job scanning loan documents, a task he says is so mind-numbing he listens to his iPod all day. "Careerwise, it's definitely not what I'd like to be doing," says Mr. Singer.

The worst recession in a generation is disrupting migration patterns and overturning lives across the country. Yet, cities like Portland, along with Austin, Texas, Seattle and others, continue to be draws for the young, educated workers that communities and employers covet. What these cities share is a hard-to-quantify blend of climate, natural beauty, universities and -- more than anything else -- a reputation as a cool place to live. For now, an excess of young workers is adding to the ranks of the unemployed. But holding on to these people through the downturn will help cities turn around once the economy recovers.

Portland has attracted college-educated, single people between the ages of 25 and 39 at a higher rate than most other cities in the country. Between 1995 and 2000, the city added 268 people in that demographic group for every 1,000 of the same group living there in 1995, according to the Census Bureau. Only four other metropolitan areas had a higher ratio. The author of the Census report on these "youth magnet" cities, Rachel Franklin, now deputy director the Association of American Geographers, says the Portland area's critical mass of young professionals means it has a "sustained attractiveness" for other young people looking for a place to settle down.

 .Indeed, the trend has appeared to continue. Between 2005 and 2007, only eight metropolitan areas -- many of them bigger -- added more college-educated migrants of any age than did Portland, the nation's 23rd largest metro area, according to an analysis of Census data by William H. Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution. A more detailed breakdown by age isn't yet available, but Mr. Frey and other demographers say the bulk of the movers are likely between the ages of 25 and 39, the most mobile age group by far.

Portland's bleak job market might seem like a reason to stay away, but some of the newcomers say the pull of a different city is greater than the fear of unemployment. Some had already lost their jobs where they used to live, so there wasn't much keeping them there.

"A lot of people figure there aren't jobs anywhere, so they might as well be where they want to be," says Mark McMullen, a senior economist at Moody's economy.com.

Portland isn't discouraging the young and educated from coming, though the glut of workers puts more stress on city services. One of the most important factors in a city's economic success is the education level of its work force, says Harvard University economist Edward Glaeser. Cities such as Detroit and Cleveland that have exported college graduates in recent years are trying to retain them with everything from internship programs to building artists' lofts.

"I'm hopeful people will stick around," says Portland mayor Sam Adams. "Even if they come to my city without a job, it is still an economic plus."

As migration within the U.S. slows as jobs disappear and home prices fall, Portland is one of the few cities to which people of all ages are moving. Of the top 25 destinations for domestic migrants between July 2006 and July 2007, before the recession started, Census data show only four drew more people in the subsequent 12 months, between July 2007 and July 2008, when the U.S. was in recession, according to an analysis by Mr. Frey.

View Full Image

Sean Flanigan for The Wall Street Journal
 
Unemployment has soared in Portland, Ore., but the young keep coming.
.The four places: Portland, Seattle, Denver, and Houston, which in addition to attracting college graduates, enjoyed a boom fueled by high oil prices. In Seattle, the number of people in the labor force, both working and looking for work, has continued to grow faster than the national average, even though there are fewer jobs.

The inflow of young college grads helped change Portland's economy over the past two decades. Most notably, it contributed to an increase in the fraction of Oregon workers with college degrees to 28.3% in 2007 (above the national average of 27.5%) from 19.5% in 1990 (below the national average of 21.3%), according to Moody's Economy.com. Of course, some of that increase came from older educated migrants, as well as homegrown college graduates.

Portland's culture and businesses have come to reflect the city's youthful edge. Among U.S. metro areas with more than a million people, only Seattle -- another magnet for the young and educated -- has more coffee shops per capita than Portland, according to NPD Group. Roughly 8% of Portlanders commute regularly by bike, the highest proportion of any major U.S. city and about 10 times the national average, according to Boulder, Colo., bike-advocacy group Bikes Belong.

Andrew McGough, executive director of Worksystems Inc., a Portland nonprofit that helps people find work, says he's seen young people continue to stream into the city even as the economy has worsened. "Assuming they are educated, we like it," says Mr. McGough, who moved to Portland himself without a job in the early 1990s.

Portland's vibrant music scene was part of what drew Ryan Suarez, a 28-year-old civil engineer, from San Diego two years ago. In February 2007, when Portland's unemployment rate was about half what it is today, Mr. Suarez took a one-week trip to scout for jobs, lined up five interviews -- and got five offers. But construction work has slowed with the rest of the economy. Mr. Suarez says his firm has had two rounds of layoffs; he survived, but took a 20% wage cut. "Things have changed a lot," he says.

View Full Image

Sean Flanigan for The Wall Street Journal
 
Matt Singer at the rental home he shares with three other people in Portland, Ore. He has been without steady work for seven months.
.Tyler Carney, a 29-year-old computer programmer, moved here from Tulsa, Okla. in September when the Internet-security company he was working for relocated to downtown Portland. He was laid off two months later, and today is living off the $417 in weekly unemployment checks. He has trimmed expenses, such as cutting out restaurant meals, ending cable and switching to slower Internet service. Mr. Carney is spending most of his days job-hunting, but has no plans to go back to Tulsa anytime soon. "Portland is a little more progressive than Tulsa was, as far as the culture goes," he says. "This town is awesome. Tulsa tended to roll up the streets at night."

Scott Thompson, president of Lexicon Staffing, Inc. in the Portland area, says the information technology staffing firm continues to get calls from new arrivals looking for work. Many, he says, are less interested in jobs and more interested in Portland's quality of life, such as the city's proximity to the Oregon coastline and the Cascade Mountains. "You have to wonder what would inspire someone to walk into a situation where you have higher than U.S. average unemployment rate," he says.

For Brian DeGrush, 28, it's a visit he paid to the city two years ago to see friends. He says he loved the social life and the green landscape, and when he went back about a month ago with his girlfriend, it was to scout out jobs and neighborhoods to live in. On Saturday, he graduates from the MBA program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, but hasn't yet found a job.

If he doesn't find work soon, Mr. DeGrush says he and his girlfriend will probably just move to Portland over the summer and hope for the best. "We're debating just trying to find part-time stuff and scrounging by until something more permanent opens up," he says.

Journal Communitydiscuss..“ Lots of educated and motivated people with no place to put their skills to work. This is a sad state of affairs.

.— Carla Livak.
 As unemployment has risen, businesses have felt the pain. So many restaurants have closed in recent months that the Portland alternative newspaper Willamette Week recently started a column called "Restaurant Apocalypse" to keep track of closings. "Everybody is holding on to their money," says Ryan Birkland, a Portland artist who does abstract paintings of flowers and koi fish on glass, sheet metal and other recycled materials. Mr. Birkland sells art across a range of prices, but says sales of $400 to $500 pieces, which are mostly purchased by young professionals, are down about 25% compared with this time last year.

The scarcity of jobs has college grads competing for positions they might not have considered just a few years ago. HotLips Pizza, a local institution that touts ingredients from nearby farms and whose owner drives a stubby electric car emblazoned with the restaurant's rouge lips logo, recently posted a job for a sous-chef and got hundreds of résumés in the space of a few days. They were both over- and under-qualified, ranging from the executive chefs at fine dining restaurants that have closed to unemployed computer technicians with zero experience in a kitchen. "People are having a harder time landing," said Greene Lawson, HotLips' chef.

View Full Image

Sean Flanigan for The Wall Street Journal
 
Patrons at the Stumpown Coffee shop in Portland, Ore.
.Boly:Welch Recruiting, a Portland firm, says it has had several lawyers willing to settle for work as paralegals. The firm says it generally won't place the lawyers because their over-qualification makes it unlikely they would continue to do paralegal work when the economy turns.

Stephen Anderson, 28, a lawyer who moved in June to Portland from Austin, says for now, he's happy being over-qualified. He went to Boly:Welch looking for legal or temp work of any kind, and the recruiting firm ended up hiring him to be an assistant to the firm's recruiters, a job that includes answering phones, getting lunches and occasionally walking the owner's two poodles. "I know I'm underemployed and if it bothered me more, I guess I'd do more to change it," he says.

Of course, less-educated migrants are being squeezed, too. Chris McGee, a 29-year-old concrete finisher moved to Oregon about four years ago from Philadelphia to follow his then-girfriend. Mr. McGee was out of work for seven months and exhausted his unemployment benefits. But after applying for dozens of jobs at convenience stores, fast-food restaurants and other places, he finally got a job washing dishes. "It's just to stop the bleeding in my bank account," he says. "I'm thankful for it, but it's just temporary."

With jobs scarce, some Portland newcomers are going home. Adam Pollock, 36, moved from New York to Portland in December, lured largely by the natural beauty and vibrant cycling scene. "In New York, if you want to get anywhere decent you have to battle traffic for a half-hour on either end of the ride," he said. Mr. Pollock, a computer consultant, rented a small apartment with a month-to-month lease, figuring he'd trade up after he found a job.

He spent months sending out résumés and trying to drum up consulting work. He looked for work as a bicycle mechanic and as a barista at some coffee shops. As his savings ran out, he finally punted. "It got to the point where, fiscally, the clock had run out," he said in a recent phone interview from Louisville, Ky. He was visiting relatives on his way back to New York.

Write to Conor Dougherty at conor.dougherty@wsj.com

So what do you personally think?  What are your feelings about youth magnet cities?  It is way easier to just cut and paste an article with no comment than to make a statement. 

I have lived in Portland.  Have you? 
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« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2009, 08:57:58 am »

"Did you say: 'Two YOOTS?'"




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« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2009, 09:51:13 am »

I think it's fine for people, especially the young and educated, to move around some and experience different places and cultures.  Some of the brightest and most interesting people I know have either lived in several different places or traveled extensively.  Maybe someone like Tyler Carney will return to Tulsa with a more liberal open-minded worldview after spending time in Portland which he maybe wouldn't have gained just staying in Tulsa after college.  Some people I know who grew up in Tulsa, went to TU, and now live and work in Tulsa are some of the most closed-minded people because they haven't experienced anything else.  Maybe you don't necessarily need to live in multiple cities but visit them and don't just go to the touristy areas. 

Austin, for example, is very similar geographically to Tulsa.  Both cities have lots of trees, rolling topography within the city itself and close proximity to forested hills and in Tulsa's case the Ozark Mtns., a river that flows through by downtown, a varied climate with hot summers and cool winters with Austin having more dry, hot days and Tulsa having colder winters, and both cities surrounded by rolling terrain and flat plains in conservative states.  The difference is that Austin has the Univ. of Texas a huge public university that attracts students from all over the country and world.  This then creates a need for an active nightlife and the offbeat, liberal culture that surrounds universities.  Lots of those 50,000+ students stay there and provide intellectual capital for various industries including hightech and research.  That then creates a need for more qualified people many of which move from California and other states with advanced degrees and different perspectives on urban living and mass transit than your typical Texan.  So that is the path Austin has taken to becoming a "cool" city.  Tulsa has TU which is a great school but so small and a few commuter schools that operate as satellites of their flagship in Norman, Stillwater, Tahlequah.  What Tulsa needs is a public, INDEPENDENT, 4 year graduate research university that can serve 20,000+ students on one campus in an urban location.  OSU-Tulsa can be this if the city and state work with OSU to make it happen.  Creating an innovative downtown university at OSU-Tulsa, like what they have done in Portland, OR with Portland State University, will do wonders for Tulsa's future.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2009, 09:56:00 am by SXSW » Logged

 
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« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2009, 07:20:23 pm »

New Orleans, without a doubt. St. Louis and Memphis too.
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OurTulsa
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« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2009, 10:27:24 pm »

So what do you personally think?  What are your feelings about youth magnet cities?  It is way easier to just cut and paste an article with no comment than to make a statement. 

I have lived in Portland.  Have you? 

You're right, it is easy.  Is there something wrong with posting an article from a fairly respected national media outlet that specifically mentions Tulsa on a message board created to facilitate discussions related to the subject of the article without commentary?  I didn't think so, so I posted without comment.  Besides if I don't take time to think about what I just read I tend to jump to conclusions, go off on unrelated tangents, and make hard to defend accusations so I figured I'd spare you my personal commentary.  

But, seeing as you asked and all...

The article belabors a point that has been thoroughly discussed on this Board.  I posted it only because it specifically mentions Tulsa.  Without Tyler and Tulsa's inclusion I would've passed on posting it.  

I think many here recognize that our City doesn't have a critical mass of those things or at least a synergy between what we have that are attractive to large contingencies of those highly sought after young college grads or creative classes...large amount of entry-level professional employment, cultural and large educational (constantly pumping ideas and kids out) institutions, recognized enclaves of liberal thought and social experimentation, spectacular natural features (ocean/mountains), ...

I am optimistic though that we are on the verge of changing some of that...motivated more by our desire to showcase who we are to ourselves and the region and foster places for our own communal gathering.

I think the Brady District is very close to blowin' up!  How many museums have been announced to be built in that small area?  Cains museum, state pop culture/music museum, philbrook annex (can't remember exactly what it was about), the Matthews warehouse, the race riot memorial.  I think I'm leaving something out.  Wasn't/isn't there the potential of landing a sports related museum there as well (Mickey Mantle?).  The Jazz Hall of Fame is already there.  Add those to two very popular music/cultural venues in the Brady theater and the Cains Ballroom along with the smattering of other bars/restaurants...and Lola's (oh, lola) we'll have this amazing critical mass of cultural venues packed in to one small geographic area...it will be oozing with cultural seeking mavens...and that constant human activity will attract yet others.  I'm giddy thinking about the private investment these cultural elements have the potential to attract...restuarants, retail, residential.  Oh I forgot, we are also building a baseball facility that has the potential to bring a few thousand individuals into that district 70 or so nights/weekends a year.  In 5-10 years, the Brady District could be unrecognizable.   My hope with all of this is that the Brady District, and/or adjacent neighborhoods (Brady Heights, Upper-Greenwood) become canvases for cultural expression and do very well at attracting and receiving those not afraid to take social, cultural, and entreprenuial risks.  How OSU-Tulsa fits into all of this, I'm not sure.  I could certainly see them comitting more attention and resources to artistic expression - theater...if anything, they could modify their Master Plan in a more dense and urban manner complimentary to its surrounding context (ok - at least the bones and proximity to downtown scream for urbanity).

There are other things shaking in this City (at least from a cultural perspective) that show promise of supporting a cultural revolution including rumors of us getting a stand-alone Opera House, Childrens Museum (both downtown).  The slow emergence of Crosbie Heights as an off-beat counter-culture neighborhood.  D-Fest, TulsaTough and continual improvement of our trail system and the bike culture (recreational and modern transportation) they are promoting (I've seen so many cyclists -not in spandex- lately.  I haven't calculated how many coffee shops we have in this city yet but it seems like a fair amount.  

My hope is that some previously from here will be attracted back by the new energy and those graduating from at least the region including U/A, OU, oSU, KU, KSU, UM will see Tulsa as a cool place to come and at least pitch a tent (or rent a flat) until they blow through their savings participating in the cultural revolution and at least following those who are participating directly or until they create a profitable outlet that just adds to the synergy.

My point is that I see alot of elements coming together to create the kind of environment in Tulsa that is attractive to those this artical speaks of.  I just hope that we have the foresight to incorporate all of this in an urban format that supports an active streetlife in and around downtown and makes mass transit not just a viable option but a necessity.

See, I ramble.  Hope you're ok with my comments.
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TheArtist
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« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2009, 06:33:44 am »

One thing I hope Tulsa does not forget about is the need to attract young families. As we chase this youth/creative class demographic/boomlet generation, realize that it wont be long till they start having families and will want affordable housing and good schools in a family friendly environment. We can still create that in the core and in Urban Village nodes around the city. But those areas have to be just as carefully and methodically groomed as our youth magnet areas are now. We may find that just as we finish getting our Youth Magnet type areas up and running to compete with other cities,,,, that the game has already shifted (to family friendly urban nodes being the new "in" thing) and we are behind again. Things like the Pearl District and Form Based Codes will be very important as this youth generation shifts into family raising mode.

 As I often point out, we tend to chase the "now" (in which we are often behind) and forget to plan or shoot for, the next step ahead in the game, so that we can finally truly catch up and compete. Its that next phase of raising a family in which Tulsa will also have a tough time competing with the suburbs. Its one thing for singles and new couples to afford a small urban apartment and live that lifestyle, but when they have kids and need a two or three bedroom place... then these hip urban areas will out of their price range. And the best buys in that range will be in the new additions in the suburbs. However, we can compete if our Urban Village nodes are well designed and have good schools. But we also need to start grooming those areas right away so as to not find ourselves playing catch up once again.

Brookside is already very much an example of that. It has a bit of that Urban Village thing going on, is hip, without being simply a "party area". There is and will be a mix of housing, some higher end stuff for singles and new couples behind the strip, then behind that, you still have your traditional suburban style neighborhoods (with character lol) and good schools. Though the house you may buy in the area isnt new, or may be more expensive compared to one in the suburbs and a bit smaller, it remains very competitive with suburban neighborhoods because of its desirability. The pedestrian friendly nature of Brookside itself, being near great amenities like River Parks, museums, grocery stores, downtown, etc.   

Now the suburbs are going to know this and will start building more developments along this pattern as well. The trick for Tulsa is to, especially with this new comprehensive plan, be aware of this now and start building these areas now for it will take longer to create these areas in an infill environment, and to remember that we will have to make sure that our areas are better, are superbly designed in order to compete. And we can do that.

If we dont do this, we risk losing our middle class. A gradual polarization will occur in which the desirable urbanized areas are expensive, and the older, less desirable neighborhood areas are poor. Then the suburbs capture most of the middle class. That scenario doesnt make for a very sustainable city, aka, higher taxes which will further push out the middle class and widen the divide.

I dont think this is something Tulsa has to worry too much about.  But definitely something to be paying attention to. Lets not focus too much on Youth Magnet areas and drop the ball on what comes next.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2009, 06:49:22 am by TheArtist » Logged

"When you only have two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other."-Chinese proverb. "Arts a staple. Like bread or wine or a warm coat in winter. Those who think it is a luxury have only a fragment of a mind. Mans spirit grows hungry for art in the same way h
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