Round 4: Predictions for 2009

I’ve had the benefit of reading a few other people’s predictions for 2009 and now weigh in with my own ideas.

What city do you predict will be hit the hardest by the economic crisis?
I should have asked about the cities that will benefit from the economic crisis — that would have been a much more interesting question! I’ll wager that New York City is going to be hit hardest by the recession. Estimates suggest that about 200,000 white-collar jobs will be lost by the end of 2009. Without job opportunities, those people will have no reason to stay in such an expensive city. New York has been flourishing from real estate transfer taxes and now that revenue is drying up. A third Bloomberg term looks inevitable, but my too-much-of-a-good-thing alarm has sounded…without a new guard it’s hard to come up with fresh ideas for the city. In my opinion, Bloomberg stepped over the line with his term-limits reversal and I predict a few minor disasters, all in the name of power.

Will there be a comeback in Detroit (beyond the auto industry, but in the city itself)? If yes, how? If no, what will happen to the city then?
Yes, I predict Detroit will come back! I envision Detroit as becoming the center of the Rust Belt. Groups like Great Lakes Urban Exchange are working to revitalize the area with an influx of young people looking to make a difference — a NOLA of the north? All that city needs is a good mayor and who knows what will happen.

If 2008 was the year of “green” and “sustainability,” 2009 will be the year of …..?
2009 will be the year of moderation.

What is the story in your city that no one is covering that you think will make the news this year?
Mayor Nutter hasn’t lived up to the hype. His sneaky attempt to close down the libraries without city council approval and a new project that will digitize the city’s street lights while defacing street corners just smack of business-as-usual. I predict more watchdog press.

Diana Lind is the former executive director and editor in chief of Next City.

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Tags: new york cityphiladelphiadetroitmichael nutter

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