Predictions for 2010: Round Two

More predictions from planners, thinkers, activists and writers. Add your own!

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Welcome to Round Two of predictions for 2010! (Click here to find Round One).

Last year, we invited a few thinkers and leaders to make predictions for 2009. You can take a look back at some of the predictions for 2009 from Ben Adler here and from Carol Coletta here. This year, we reached out to many of our writers, friends and the members of the Next American Vanguard to see what they think 2010 holds for America’s urban areas. This is the first installment of the responses we got; check back next week for another round. We’d also love to hear your thoughts, which you can post in the comments section below. Here’s some food for thought:

If 2009 was the year of economic crisis and recovery in cities, what will 2010 be the year of?
What sort of projects/initiatives are underway in your city that will begin to show results in 2010?
Who do you think will emerge as a power player in your city, or in national urban affairs?
Why is there reason to be hopeful about our cities’ futures?

And now, more predictions:

Lee Shaker, Research Fellow at Princeton University and contributor to Next American City

I think 2010 will bring a wave of consolidation in the newspaper industry. Cities that have more than one major newspaper at the start of the year will only have one at the end as the economy recovers and newspaper advertising doesn’t. Clearly, this trend is already underway – Seattle, Cincinnati, and Denver have already lost their second paper – but I think more publications across the country will tire of the uphill struggle and capitulate. At least for now, however, I don’t think a major American city will be newspaper-less: even though they are burdened by high debt loads, high costs, and high profit expectations, newspapers are still able to attract a large (if relatively smaller) audience. Even if it means raising the price and further slimming the product, newspapers will survive in print…for now.

Mara D’Angelo, Senior Policy Analyst
Smart Growth America

With the growing national focus on sustainability, I think we’ll see a more profound mixing of uses in cities – housing and retail, wind turbines and solar panels, transit and bike stations, and urban farms and gardens integrated in new, creative, and holistic ways.

Brendan Patrick Hughes, Writer, Contributor to Next American City, The Believer, Mr. Beller’s Neighborhood, Words Without Borders, and The Portland Phoenix

My predictions for 2010 are apocalyptic. With no end in sight to high unemployment and residential property foreclosures, along with a coming wave of commercial property foreclosures, 2010 will mark the beginning of a massive internal migration in the United States from suburbs and exurbs into large cities. The effect of this migration on cities will depend on municipal, state and federal governments’ ability to commandeer and utilize vacant residential and commercial spaces to provide essential services such as housing, health care, and education. If the public sector is unable to marshal these resources, then what will begin as an internal migration may well become an international one — the beginnings of an American diaspora.

Jeff Tiell, Graduate Student, City and Regional Planning, University of Pennsylvania

I think 2010 will be the year of numbers, so to speak. What I mean is that given our 2010 census, this upcoming year will be pivotal year for cities as they count their inhabitants in order to obtain funds from governmental sources. This counting is shaping up to be made more difficult based on some of the anti-government sentiment brewing around the country as well as anger from the Latino community focused on the Obama Administration and its perceived lack of engagement with their needs and requests. A number of national Latino churches are organizing a boycott of the census, according to Douglas Massey at Princeton.

In short, never have numbers mattered so much for increasingly scarce dollars … and it’s hard to remember when a census has come under as much fire as it has thus far. This will be interesting — stay tuned.

Manni Marquez, Zilber Neighborhood Initiative Director, Clarke Square Neighborhood
Journey House, Inc.

I predict that in 2010, more so than in the past, neighborhood organizations will work closer together with not only other organizations but with city officials to revitalize neighborhoods and achieve plus sustain a high quality of life. The importance of these relationships and partnerships will be realized and produce results like never before.

More to come later this week!

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Tags: philadelphiareal estatebig datamilwaukeenext city vanguard

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