Sunday, June 12, 2011

Buffalo Barks Back!

Harvard economist and Rust Belt maligner Edward Glaeser was challenged again about his notorious 2007 hit piece on Buffalo over the weekend in Madison, where he was making a speech at the 19th Congress for the New Urbanism. Glaeser’s article, “Can Buffalo ever come back? Probably not,” appeared in The New York Sun and The City Journal, raising eyebrows among Buffalo folks who are working hard to do exactly what Glaeser believed “probably” couldn’t happen.

CNU board chair Victor Dover delivered this audience question to Glaeser after his remarks: “In spite of continued population loss, Buffalo is said to be still the 17th most densely populated city in the United States. Since 2000 the Buffalo MSA had the ninth highest Gross Metropolitan Product per capita growth, the second highest percentage gain in graduate degree attainment, and the second highest percentage increase in property values. So Buffalo somehow is growing wealthier and smarter and more valuable as you say we should, so did you mean Buffalo is too cold and should drop dead just for that?”

Now, there’s a whole lot of content in that question and no one would expect Glaeser to address it fully, yet the question speaks to a lot about how Buffalo has actually been doing in the past ten years. These are the facts about Buffalo that naysayers will refuse to believe and folks like Glaeser would rather ignore because it doesn’t fit the story they’re trying to tell:

[Read the statistical rebuttal on the Artvoice site here.]