Friday, April 28, 2006

Shreveport Times quotes Tom Murphy, "don't give it away." (ugh!)

Regionalism... Humm. In Pittsburgh, we've got too many cooks to spoil the soup. Yet Murphy was here!
The Shreveport Times A regional approach to economic development — rather than separate groups — can lead to greater prosperity in this region, according to the results of a study released today.

The five-day panel study was conducted recently by Urban Land Institute Advisory Services with the Northwest Louisiana Association of Realtors. The panel included experts in real estate, urban planning, economics, residential development, construction, economic development and municipal government from across the country.

The panel recommended preserving and exploiting area natural resources, beginning with Red River.

Older neighborhoods bordering Shreveport and Bossier City downtowns could then be clustered with growing art and culture offerings, as well as mixed-use zoning, to produce residential-retail-cultural urban villages, according to panelist Zane Segel, a Houston-based developer, marketing consultant and real estate broker.

“The beauty of the region is what you’re proudest of,” panelist and former Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy told about 100 gathered at the Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce this morning to hear the results.

“It’s a tourist attraction, a community value and a regional asset. Don’t give it away.”

Also under the prescribed master plan, as the region would grow, it should take steps to ensure educational and economic parity so all of its members could benefit together.

The final report will be completed and finished in a couple of months, said Leigh Ferguson, director of Urban Living and executive vice president of Sloss Real Estate Group in Birmingham, Ala., who guided the panelists in their charge. The next stage, he added, would be to enroll the region’s grass-roots stakeholders into forming a committee to weigh the panel’s suggestions and ultimately implement them.
I'm scratching my head. What if you're most proud of your diversity. Then do you need to have a regional approach?

New Orleans is a city of diversity. Well, it used to be.

Then there is the 'don't give it away' quote. It was printed without attribution, but I think it might have come from Tom Murphy. ??? That's what I've been saying with this expression of 'picking our cherries.' Some in Pittsburgh are happy to give away our most valued assets in terms of tax breaks. I don't want tax breaks for downtown -- because downtown is a place where we should be proud.

Perhaps the Steelers are our proudest institution -- so we give them a stadium and this year upgrade it with more public funds to put in 700 seats. But, we are not to give it away? Say what?

Today we learn that the Library Report is out and really, it is the library that is our most valued asset for the community. But you can get books and computer time at the library for free. They give it away.

In the end, I think we need to be most proud and most protective our two very important things. On a macro level, we need to be certain to extend and defend our freedom. On a micro level, we need to be most proud of our children, our families, and perhaps our kids friends if not their peers and the next generations.

If those are what make drives us -- Freedom and Future (as in kids) -- then I think it makes sense to figure out if they are extended with 'central planning' and a 'regional approach.'

Being flexible seems to work better when it comes to families and individuals.
Give of ourselves to the young.

I like to talk about a system where there is a 'framework for freedom' -- and that generally means we don't do a regional approach.

Finally, I do agree that you need to 'give it away' -- as in our freedom. The comment about the asset, 'don't give it away' stinks when you talk about these values.

You can't put freedom in a bottle. You can't put freedom in a fence and protect it like a lump of coal. You can't guard that asset and NOT give it away and still have it. Freedom, by its very nature, needs to be given away. The more you give, the more you get. Freedom and love work that way. This is a bit of a self-less passion.

And the same holds true with our kids. We raise them, we teach them well, we are devoted to them -- but we don't own the kids. We can't control the kids. We need to set the kids free too. They grow up. They move out. They are set free to make the world theirs -- shape the world -- and with some preparation, make it FREE for their kids yet to come.

Pittsburgh is a place where we raise our kids, create community, celebrate freedom, and give of ourselves to those around us who we trust and respect. The assumption and hope is to trust and respect authority and everyone, in these parts.