Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Lower Manhattan vs. DTD (Downtown Dallas)


I was just reading this article in The New Republic where, in reference to the changing demographics of cities, it cites

Race is not always the critical issue, or even especially relevant, in this demographic shift. Before September 11, 2001, the number of people living in Manhattan south of the World Trade Center was estimated at about 25,000. Today, it is approaching 50,000. Close to one-quarter of these people are couples (nearly always wealthy couples) with children.
(Excuse the irrational formatting. Blogger is PMSing)
50,000! Doubled since 9/11! Wow. These numbers are incredible, even moreso than the sheer volume, is the timing in which it happened given the location. I though it would be interesting to create a side-by-side comparison of Lower Manhattan (I was liberal with the definition of "South of the WTC and included all of Chinatown, the Financial District, and Battery Park, as is delineated by the orange line.
I then overlayed the outline on Downtown Dallas at the same elevation in Google Earth to reveal that it is essentially the size of the non-bombed out built portion of DTD, which at last estimation was in the neighborhood of 5,500 permanent residents or a shade shy of one-tenth that of a similar sized area in Manhattan.
This, of course, isn't meant to draw shame or ire to Dallas, but rather a reminder to shoot for the stars.
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**Note: I could have cut the portion about "mostly with children," but I always find empirical evidence important to the contrary of conventional wisdom that suggests inner-city migration is only for yuppies and empty nesters. Vancouver, with its lack of schools, given the demand of young families living downtown is exhibit A - of course, Vancouver is also probably twenty to thirty years ahead of most Sun Belt cities in their point of evolution.