The Economic Perspective: “What Revived Cities?”

I’m Mary Walden with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program asks, what revived cities.  Mike, when you and I were much younger in the 1960s, most big cities in the country were in crisis.   Many factories were closing, pollution was terrible, and affluent households were fleeing to the suburbs and exurbs.   But today big cities are back.   What changed?

Mike:  Summary Answer

  1. Indeed, one of the reasons I initially studied economics was to look for ideas to help big cities
  2. But cities got the help they needed – not from the government, but from the economy
  3. Cities of the early 1900’s were still based on manufacturing
  4. That sector declined, and with it, cities
  5. Then came the tech revolution, and the creation of a new economic sector called information technology
  6. This sector needed college grads
  7. Universities are often in big cities – so tech found workers there
  8. The rest is history – many big cities have been transformed to provide the amenities tech workers – often young – want
  9. I’m MW

And I’m Mary Walden for the Economic Perspective, an NC State Extension program from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.