Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Mon Nov 10th 2008 at 8:23am UTC

Tor-Buff Bills

Greg Easterbrook in The Atlantic:

The Bills could help forge mutual affection between the cities—even a regional identity. Buffalo’s civic promotion has generally reached southward; in this newly globalized world, it should reach northward, toward a country that is as underappreciated among nations as Buffalo is among cities.

Connections to cosmopolitan, multi­cultural Toronto might change Buffalo’s image from backward-­focused to wave-of-the-future. Toronto is growing by leaps and bounds, and some portion of the growth may already be spilling over; most of the immigrants to Buffalo in recent years were Canadian. Buffalo offers urban living free of traffic jams and boasts one of the nation’s last under­developed stretches of premium waterfront. During its City of Light heyday, when Buffalo was the first electrified metropolis, Frank Lloyd Wright, Frederick Law Olmsted, and other fabled names designed homes and parks. In the lovely Delaware Park area, magnificent Beaux Arts homes sell at exceedingly low prices compared with homes in elite U.S. cities—or in Toronto.

So long as the Bills keep a foot in the city, they keep alive the dream of a Super Bowl win—a hope that an infusion of Loonies (Canadian dollars) might sustain. And should the Bills win the Super Bowl, Buffalo will return to national prominence. I don’t just think this will happen, I know it will.

It’s all about the mega…

5 Responses to “Tor-Buff Bills”

  1. nb3004 Says:

    Thanks for a somewhat positive story about Buffalo, while I don’t think a Super Bowl win would add people to Buffalo, I do think that a southern Ontario creep of people and jobs certainly can, and hopefully show that it is cheap to live here. Now we only need to do something about state taxes that hinder new business growth.

  2. Buzzcut Says:

    When I left Western New York in 1998, my real estate taxes were 5% of my home’s value. State income taxes were 7%, sales tax was near 8%. Moving to Chicago, I easily cut my state and local taxes in half. And Chicago isn’t even a low tax city.

    Has anything changed in that regard? Are taxes lower 10 years later? Of course not.

    I know Richard is the main cheerleader for coolness over marginal tax rates as a driver of economic growth, but the fact is that small businesses are capital starved. The higher their taxes, the more likely it is to fail.

    Now, perhaps marginal tax rates aren’t the be-all and end-all of growth. Attitude matters. Lord knows that 60+ years of economic decline have decimated the ranks of entrepreneurial minded people in Western New York. The best and brightest have moved elsewhere.

    But to ignore the very simple fact that New York State is simply an awful place to do business makes your predictions very unlikely to come true.

    There’s a reason those houses around Delaware Park are so cheap. It is NOT unrealized potential.

  3. David Says:

    I agree with this concept that building a stronger relationship with Toronto and Southern Ontario will help Buffalo in the future. The city of Buffalo is positioned at the right place by that it is the closest American city to one third of the Canadian population! (Detroit or Seattle can’t claim that) Toronto is the largest city in Canada and continues to grow. If the city of Buffalo is to rise again it will be because of this good neighborhood and it already is the city of good neighbors!

  4. Buzzcut Says:

    One word: Newark.

    Proximity is not destiny.

  5. David Says:

    Also, I moved away from Buffalo going on 6 years and I still and always will consider Buffalo Home – It was a beautiful place to grow up