JULIA VITULLO-MARTIN: Good Morning. I’m Julia Vitullo-Martin. I’m the Director of the Center for Rethinking Development at the Manhattan Institute. I’d like to welcome everybody here today. We have a really wonderful audience, and of course, a splendid panel.

Our Center for Rethinking Development is hosting this forum jointly with our colleagues here in Albany, the Empire Center, which is directed by E. J. McMahon. And, we’ve divided the forum into two parts. I’m going to moderate the first part, the panel. And then, we’re all going to join the audience from up here. And E. J. is going to introduce Mayor Duffy and moderate that.

Now, we decided to do this forum because we think it’s very clear that the welfare of upstate cities is extremely important to the entire state of New York. And, major cities all over the country and indeed, throughout the world, have seen a tremendous resurgence since the terrible post war years of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. And we think and hope that upstate cities are also in for a resurgence. But obviously, the problems are immense. We asked John Norquist, the former mayor of Milwaukee, to lead off our panel because he presided over Milwaukee’s resurgence. And Milwaukee is in many ways, somewhat like upstate cities. It has many of the same characteristics. It’s a moderate size city. It has beautiful housing stock. It’s had tremendous problems with losing its industrial base. Major problems with race and crime. At the same time, it has some immensely strong institutions, including universities, Marquette, for example, has been a powerful force in buying up property and reestablishing what had been deteriorated neighborhoods. And Milwaukee has its magnificent waterfront, which is one of the many assets Milwaukee used to reestablish itself. John is currently the president of a very important organization, The Congress for New Urbanism, which puts forth a whole series of interesting ideas and an agenda for the resurgence of cities. So, please join me in welcoming John.

JOHN O. NORQUIST: Thank you very much, Julia. I like Julia Martin. She’s somebody who really knows how to write. And I appreciate her articles on subjects, which I usually agree with her on, but not always.

Upstate New York cities have gone through many cycles. They’ve at times, been among the richest places in America. And that may happen again. They’re fairly old by American standards. And so, one thing before I get into my presentation- one thing I want to make sure to say is there’s a lot of expectation about decline. Buffalo and Rochester and Syracuse and all the cities with Greek names had very strong expectations that they will get worse, that they will fail. And one of the typical repeated themes in elections in these various cities is that you have to face reality and acknowledge the various pathologies in the community. And that if you do that, then that’ll help lead to renaissance. I think that’s been overdone. I think all the cities are aware that they have problems and that they need to search more for their assets. And because I’m the head of the Congress for the New Urbanism, we focus on design. And that’s one of the strongest suits that old northern and eastern industrial cities have, is that they’re very beautiful. If you look at them long enough you can see the beauty. And they also have assets that will appear, even to the building industry and to developers. They’ll see it and you need to help them see it. So, I’m going to talk a lot about design. If I have time later on, I’ll be glad to go into more detail on things like school choice, vouchers, which I support, even though I’m a Democrat. And I really am, and I vote Democratic. But I’m for vouchers because they’re good for cities. I could talk about that later on. But let me try to get through this material and I’ll start.

We’re used to thinking of sprawl as something that is unplanned. You know, if we only had a good plan, we wouldn’t have sprawl. Plan is sprawl, I mean, sprawl is planned. It’s planned. Usually when it happens, it happens because it’s the rule that a developer confronts. In this case, it’s a community outside Milwaukee – Brookfield, which is named after what it replaced, the brook and the field. And there are two interventions here that I want you to notice. The separate use zoning, which is the law in Brookfield so that you can’t mix housing in the same building with retail. So you have office parks, retail, housing, everything, all the ingredients of the community separated into pods. And its prosperity depends on keeping anything out that’s unpleasant. So, that’s the form. And it requires government intervention.

Good urban form also will often have government intervention. Although, it’s not always required. And this is Wicker Park in Chicago. One of the main intersections: North Avenue, Milwaukee Street and Damen. All of these streets are one moving lane in each direction. They’re major arterials in Chicago. This is a very densely populated neighborhood. About 25,000 people per square mile. It has retail on the first floor and either offices or apartments above. It’s so prosperous, they made a movie out of it. And it’s so prosperous; they couldn’t afford to make it there so they made it in Montreal.

And this is Lakeview in Chicago, Belmont Avenue – one of the significant big streets on the north side of Chicago. One moving lane in each direction. Parking all day. The retailers control the politics of the street. The [unintelligible] is the retailers and they get parking all day without the traffic engineers taking away what the retailers see as the life blood of their business.

This is Dundas Street in Toronto. It has lots of congestion. It would be offensive to anybody from the New York DOT who’s in charge of moving traffic. It would be offensive to the Federal Highway Administration. It doesn’t meet any standard that they would have. But the street is rich. It runs through China Town. The street cars make it through somehow. Deliveries are made. It only has one parking lane on each side and one lane to drive on. And it shares it with the street cars. And it really works. It’s all the regulatory system set up to sell stuff or for people to enjoy life. The purpose of this street is not moving traffic.

This is a drawing by Leo Creary, he is the advisor to Prince Charles. It shows a pizza on the left. And on the right, it shows the ingredients of a pizza. And then the middle, it shows a city properly composed. Ordinary buildings on blocks and streets with monumental buildings mixed in. You know, churches, civic buildings and so forth. What he wants to show from this drawing, is that sprawl is like the ingredients of the pizza laid out over the landscape. And the city properly put together is like a pizza put together. And you can see this in these old cities where the regulatory system, even if they didn’t call it zoning 100 years ago, was right. So that the ordinary buildings of the city among the civic buildings of the city, the ingredients of the city properly put together. This is Milwaukee’s City Hall. It’s on a remnant piece of real estate that they could afford. An odd shape building but beautiful tower and still valuable today. It adds value to all the buildings around it. It’s fun to be in one of the buildings nearby and sit in the window and sip coffee as the office buildings get converted into residential buildings, as the market demands it. But this is how most municipal buildings are built today all over America. There are garages, sometimes they’ll have a table with some chairs around it where the town board meets. But the civic realm has become something that’s on a lot of land, but with really crappy buildings. In this case, a more-somewhat more elegant building, Brookfield City Hall. I went out there to talk on the subject with them many years ago. And they listened to me. They didn’t burn me at the stake. And so they added a tower and made it look better.

This is retail on the first floor, an Italian restaurant, the owner lives above. It’s illegal in most of America. It’s even illegal in a lot of these old cities. And every one of them should check. In cities like Buffalo and Rochester and Syracuse, it kind of depends on the street, whether some regulatory interference came in to make it illegal. But often it did. In Milwaukee, on this street, this form was illegal. So if the building had burned down or failed somehow, the new owner would have had to have a single-use building. So we changed the code. We allowed good urban form. Everything that was beautiful in the city, we allowed. We changed the code and it made a big difference.

The other thing that cities do to hurt themselves: the specialists intervene. In this case it’s the traffic engineers. And they’ll put setbacks so the streets can be widened. Typically, a street will be two rods from the center lane into the building line with a street of say 44 to 54 feet, something like that with a 6 to 10 foot sidewalk. And the traffic engineer will want that to be 72. And so, in this case, in the late 50’s, a new setback was put in. All the buildings on the right hand side of this arterial street were made non-conforming uses. So, when the ownership changed, they’d get financing. They’d flunk the title search because the encumbrance on the building, it would either weaken the loan or deny the loan. If somebody wanted to repair their property or fix it, improve it, they would run into problems, all so that the traffic department could widen it someday. And the strategy behind it was, if their buildings really decline in value, then the condemnation costs will be lower and will save money. In the meantime, the city of Milwaukee was collecting less and less tax on this street, three miles long, three miles long. All these buildings weakened for some 25, 30 years until we removed it. And then, when we removed it, we started getting buildings coming in with infill. So the property owner or the developer could by right, just get the regular construction permits and put the building back up on the street where it belonged. Or parking regulations, and this is when I know is a problem in every single city in Upstate New York. For some reason, people felt they needed to regulate parking. Somebody went to an alderman years ago and said, for example, how many spots should we require for a bowling alley. And somewhere we’ve traced it, somewhere in Ohio is where it started. The planner said five. The planner should have said, I don’t know or who cares or go away. But the planner said five. Five per lane. Five spots per lane. So a bowling alley, which used to be an urban form in the city, you know, you go, there’s the tavern, the hardware store, the bowling alley, whatever. That was the typical thing. All of a sudden, bowling alleys had to have as much parking as a Wal-Mart. It was ridiculous. And there’s all these big bowling alleys all over the Midwest that have giant parking lots that have usually have chains on their doors waiting for redevelopment.

In this case, this building was a 19-foot frontage. In the late 1960’s, a requirement was put on it for seven off street parking spots. Now the lot is only about 70-feet deep. So, just try to figure it out.

If you look at the next slide, you can see what happened. We changed the ordinance without any government program, without tax incremental financing, without a ribbon cutting, without a groundbreaking, without any alderman or mayor or anybody standing around. This building went up and started paying taxes because the parking requirement was removed. No parking. You don’t need any off street requirements. Not any, in any upstate New York City. That should be rule number one. When you go back home, repeal the parking requirement. If you want to have a parking requirement, have a maximum. You can be like Portland. That won’t hurt you. But it’s not necessary, but it won’t hurt you. But don’t have a minimum.

You can refit sprawl. This is Cisco headquarters in Santa Clara, California. So, even if the edges of your community really look ugly, it’s all junk space and you feel terrible about it, there are ways to deal with it. Cisco, in order to have housing for their employees who were commuting 100 miles or more. Because Santa Clara figured out how to do this, they allowed Cisco to start lining their parking lot with nice apartments and condos, which their employees have first crack at.

Now people say, how do we get development in the city. And the first thing that I would hear is, I brought in the sprawl developers from the outer kinds said why don’t you build Milwaukee. So, well, we don’t do low income public housing. I said, I didn’t ask you to do low income public housing. I said why don’t you do business in the city. And you know, their head was full of all kinds of stuff. It’s a subsidy thing, you need a lawyer, blah, blah, blah. And this was their view of the regulatory process after my building inspector and I listened to them. My building inspector was a guy who took drawing classes so he drew this. He said, that’s what I think they think it is. And they’re right. And so, we started- we changed the process with the idea that, if you have a good urban code, which we had been developing, once we had the code that required the right kind of stuff, then you don’t make them go to, you know? go to this building. You remember the Wizard of Oz, where Dorothy comes up to the gate and Oz says, come back tomorrow, the wizard is busy. And then, go get the slippers. So she gets the slippers. All right, well, come back later. You know, it was just one more thing after another. So, we changed it and all of a sudden, our focus was not on public private partnerships and non-profit organizations, as lovely as they are, but they don’t belong in the housing business, other than maybe Habitat or somebody that wants to really contribute in that way, charitably. But then, we started to get buildings. Like the building in the middle here, was built without any city subsidy, no requirements on the developer to do it. It was a beautiful view of the lake. No subsidy, no special privileges, 36-story building. The top floor unit went for $8.5 million dollars in Milwaukee.

There’s another one on a square a few blocks away. This one did get a little bit of help because of environmental remediation. But what happened in 1997, we made a decision to stop subsidizing in the downtown. The downtown was beautiful. It had the second largest Great Lake in America, Lake Michigan to look at because the freeway the was supposed to be built along the lake had been killed by many of us 25 years before in the anti-freeway movement. You have all these views. You don’t need to subsidize everything. You don’t need to bribe people to come in to Milwaukee. You don’t have to have the message, oh, it’s such a rotten place. Were going to give you millions of dollars to come in and build something. And then we’ll tell you who to rent to.

Even Wal-Mart asks for subsidies occasionally because municipalities are so addicted to it. You never need to subsidize Wal-Mart. This is a Wal-Mart that went up in the heart of the inner city on a street with a sidewalk in front of it, with another building now being built between it. Normally, Wal-Mart doesn’t want to touch anybody else. All they got was their volume, 150,000 square feet. They insisted on that. They got it. But one thing that shocked me was that they didn’t need five spots per thousand square feet. They didn’t even need three. They’re not the ones pushing the parking thing. It’s the communities they go in to that are telling them to have all this parking. We found that in Mississippi when we were dealing with Katrina down there where Wal-Mart, you know, they’re not perfect by any means, but they definitely delivered food and clothing and so forth when no one else was doing it.

The big boxes will be pro urban now if there’s a market for it, and if they are confronted with right regulatory system.

This is on Halsted, on the north side of Chicago. A Home Depot on two floors with escalators, parking on the street with meters, no subsidy, there’s structured parking in the back that you get to off the alley. If you rip the name Home Depot off this building and put Nordstroms on it, it would look right at home. Big boxes can be department stores if you have the right regulation. And these old downtowns that are rotting, can be lifestyle centers. Nobody’s building malls anymore unless like, in New York State where they want to pour state money into a mall, I guess it’s outside of Syracuse, is that right? That because of the giant subsidy, the lemon socialism, the bipartisan lemon socialism that goes on in New York State, that may actually happen. It may be one of the few malls built in America in the future. The interior facing malls are not being built. Instead, they’re building things that try to replicate the old village. Well, what better place to replicate the old village center, than the city centers themselves. So Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse if they don’t make the mistake of building the ridiculous thing on the edge, can all be lifestyle centers. And these big boxes like going to them. The real estate people at Target like to be in renovated downtowns on T-intersections where they put their stores as icons.

This is in Seattle on Central Hill, a neighborhood that-it would be the only neighborhood left in Seattle that has significant non self-imposed poverty. But they have a Target that went up right on a regular street.

Now how did this all happen? There are lots of reasons. I don’t have time to get into everything. But, we had lots of things you expect in the U.S., overreaction of the car, etc. But in this case, it wasn’t just an American thing.

Le Corbusier, the brilliant leader of the modernist movement, drew this drawing in 1922. The city of tomorrow, dealing with the new technology of elevator buildings, steel structured high rises and the vehicle, the motor vehicle. So, he came up with the great separated street. The street, instead of having multiple purposes, social retail, etc., became just one purpose, just moving traffic. Let’s make it simple. And so, he came up with this idea. It didn’t catch on as much in Europe, but it did in the U.S.

This is Crystal City near Reagan National Airport. And it is grade separated completely from the buildings around it, and it’s now the template for the edges of metropolitan areas.

Here’s Corbusier, very seductive image. About 20 percent of the architecture students at Harvard School of Design have glasses like that. This was his vertical plan for Paris. The high-rise towers in the park, this would have been in the Jewish corridor on the west side of the sane, west bank of the sane. They didn’t build them there. They ended up building those kinds of buildings in the edges, the Banlieue, you read about in Paris. It would have destroyed billions of dollars of real estate. Instead, they build them in the U.S. Robert Taylor Homes in Chicago, which failed. Pruitt-Igoe in St. Louis, built in the ’50s, torn down in the ’70s. And this is what was made illegal, not by Corbusier, although he didn’t like this kind of street, except to live in. He lived in Montmartre in Paris. He liked urbanism. He just didn’t want anybody else to have it.

But anyway, this was a standard street that engineers would have learned how to build back in the first half of the 20th Century. The two rod street that I talked about earlier, retail on the first floor, low-cost housing above, before there was any Federal housing departments or programs. They already had it.

In the 20s, sort of the last gasp of the progressive movement was separate use zoning, Euclidean zoning, which basically made this street illegal. Herbert Hoover of all people, put out an executive order in 1931 as president making Euclidean zoning the model for the country. It wasn’t made a direct mandate, but it infected all the housing mortgage programs, etc? that came along later. And so, it made it very hard to build urban form. Even Fannie Mae today says only 25 percent of projects that go through their secondary mortgage market can be retail, which works okay in, say a place like New York where they go up 30, 40 stories. But it doesn’t work in Des Moines. So in fact, you can’t build a street any more in most of America using their financing mechanism. That’s really bad for cities. So bad that we’d probably be better off if Fannie Mae didn’t exist, even though there are benefits to it that some people appreciate directly.

This is the kind of street that the traffic engineers teach now. Seventy-two feet of pavement, 22-foot medians, no money left over for sidewalks so those who walk, about half the population, even in auto-oriented area, walk. You know, people under 16, people who can’t drive and those-the weird people who choose not to, like this guy. You know, when you walk in that kind of environment, you can walk in the gutter, you sort of are criminal suspect. And you talk about the love affair with the automobile, look at the choice. You can be a respected citizen in a car or you can be a criminal suspect. Now, what are you going to do? That’s the kind of choice we’re presenting people. I always love it when these neo con guys from Reason Foundation talk about how only two percent of people commute on transit, rail transit or whatever it is. Have you ever looked at the transit system in Laramie, Wyoming? I mean they don’t have transit. So their choice they make, you know, every day they decide not to ride on the subway. You know why? ‘Cause they don’t have one. Okay.

So, this is what the code does. When you put them together, the separate use zoning and the 72 foot arterial you get, this wasteland that you see in most of America where buildings so insignificant way, way from the street, they have to have pylons in front of them.

And then, another specialist well intended thing that interferes with development creating urbanism is fire trucks. The fire truck companies always believe in planned obsolescence. Make them bigger every year. And they make the regulations, make them have to be bigger every year. And so, you end up with residential streets in the suburbs at 40 feet in some cases for the one in a million chance that two fire trucks would ever have to pass each other on these streets.

And there are alternatives. In Tokyo, you know, they have fires in Tokyo. That’s what their fire trucks looks like. That’s a normal fire truck in Tokyo. Here’s one in Paris. They have big buildings. They even have some big streets. But they have some small ones too and they decided not to tear all the building down to accommodate the fire trucks. There’s a street in Philadelphia, you can’t even get a small fire truck into it. But because it’s so valuable, Philadelphia figured out you can park the fire truck at one end of the short block and still service these properties, which are all over a million dollars now that New Yorkers are commuting from Philadelphia. But you can do this stuff whether it’s big city, little city, Utica, Syracuse, New York City all across the transect, urbanism always is a good idea to look at, even in small villages you can build cities properly.

But this is what the Federal Highway Program funds. Over half the pavement in the U.S. is this kind of road. And this was the first piece of it opened up in Wisconsin. That’s miss concrete on the left and miss blacktop on the right. And that was the beginning of balance transportation as we know it in America today. Half asphalt and half concrete.

This is Detroit at the end of World War II. The most prosperous city in the- not the most prosperous city, but the most productive city in World War II, in producing war material, vehicles, tanks, etc? This is the way it looked the year after the war. Bustling street, Kerns, Crowley’s, Hudson’s Department Store, the biggest in the world, bigger than Macy’s, bigger than Harrod’s in London. Here’s Hudson’s 35 years later when it was about to be torn down. It was torn down. There’s Woodward Avenue.

This is Berlin. Seventy percent of the building gone at the end of the war. This is Berlin today. Potsdamer Platz, the wall went right through here. The biggest intersection before the war, now it’s the biggest intersection again. It’s like Time Square.

This is Detroit about five years ago, elevated view. About 30 percent of the buildings are gone from 1970. Where did World War II happen? Here’s Detroit at ground level. Detroit won the war. Germany lost. Nagasaki, Hiroshima, Volgograd used to Stalingrad, all of those cities were leveled, Dresden, they’re all built back. Detroit, this is the way it looks. There’s something wrong, folks.

This is the African American community in Milwaukee, 1956. This is the way it looked after it was improved by DOT. All this money spent so that the traffic can go faster. Corbusier’s dream of the street only being for one purpose, moving traffic. And then, there’s side effects, bad error, sound, etc. So we put up these walls. This is the only surviving technology of the old East German Communist Republic. You can see the prototype here. This is – and here’s Erich Honecker, the last big leader of East Germany. If he came to life in Berlin, he’d be totally disoriented, but he could go to San Antonio.

This is a Martin Luther King Drive. This is how we honor Dr. King. The traffic goes fast in his name. But the car industry can’t sell cars that way, so they put them in the woods or they go to Prague with the Charles Bridge in the background, which doesn’t meet interstate standards of Federal Highway standards. None of the bridges in Prague, meet Federal highway administration Standards. Imagine what we could do for Prague. It could look like Buffalo very quickly.

The dream of the Autobahn, the Autobahn was actually rural. It actually started before Hitler. And so, but they didn’t build them in the city. But they did try to do that in the U.S. and those of you from New York City know from the Moses exhibit that just came out, that lower Manhattan Expressway stopped by this woman, Jane Jacobs. But there’s a formula that actually describes it.

Dietrich Bryce in Germany did this formula in 1971. It shows that if you build grade-separated roads in highly populated areas like Buffalo or Rochester, whatever, you actually create congestion by lengthening the trips, by concentrating the traffics at the nodes, by undermining the structure of the block and the street. But it’s all changing. They don’t have enough money to fix it. It’s falling down. This was the first one in 1975 in the lower west side of Manhattan, replaced with an ordinary boulevard.

San Francisco, the earthquake and the Embarcadero on Market Street replaced. And now, the boulevard back, property values went up 350 percent after that happened. The south artery, the new boulevard. Milwaukee without an earthquake. See the cars parked looking at the river all day replaced. Buildings going up.

Seoul, Korea, 160,000 cars a day. Freeway running right through the middle of the town. They didn’t replace the road capacity. They did put in a new transit lines. This is the way it looks today. It’s beautiful. And there’s the mayor. He’s about to be elected president of South Korea. Look how happy he is.

And here’s Seattle where they just had an earthquake. And they have the chance to eliminate it. I talked to the governor’s people about it. And they said, ‘Oh, it will never work. How could we live without this road.’ And so, well, look at Vancouver. It’s less than 200 miles north. They don’t have it. Let’s give it to them. See how it works. Or let’s go to Portland. They eliminated a road back in 1970. Let’s put it back. Or Paris, they could use it.

All right, we’re getting close to the end. This is a wetland. What I want you to see is the complexity of it. We used to think this was something you had to get rid of. Wasteland, drain it. Do this to it. Okay, now we know the wetlands are valuable. Even the Army Corps of Engineers officially said they were sorry, they were sorry for what they did to the Everglades. But we’re doing it to cities. That’s what these big expensive tax payer wasting roads do in cities. Stop. Don’t do it anymore. Stop trying to solve congestion. Because the worst thing is, you’ll do it. Detroit has done that. That’s one thing they’ve achieved. They do not have traffic congestion because almost nobody wants to go there, except for the sporting events, which someday that’ll change. It’s a beautiful city. Someday it’ll come back. But stop it. The grit that absorbs traffic, absorbs congestion. Big boulevards, this is in Paris on the right hand side. Twelve-lane street with cafes on it. High property values on it. You can move lots of traffic on boulevards and avenues and streets.

But we do this. And it fails. This is a defense highway in Houston. Rita came. It was supposed to protect everybody from the bomb, if that had happened. Thank God it hasn’t ever happened. But if it did, you wouldn’t make it out of town in time because the roads stop. They coagulate. You can’t concentrate traffic like that. It’s all changing now. ITFHWA is actually cooperating with us to create alternatives. And your city engineers can take this book and hold it up to the state DOT people. It’s like a crucifix at an exorcism.

All right, and then finally, why did all this happen? It was misplaced idealism. Walter Gropius ran the Harvard School of Design and they wiped out a lot of the beautiful detail that cities are built on. Things that developed over thousands of years. One of those things was the terminated vista. This is a little village in Wisconsin. Look at that. Try to imagine composing that today. Church at the head of an ordinary street terminating the vista. So it didn’t happen. Harvard School of Design, when they hired Gropius in 1937, it spread through all the architecture planning schools. Get rid of all that stuff. It’s all empire left from the czars and the Kaisers. Let’s get rid of it. And so they did. So only in two places in America for about 50 years did any do terminated vistas. And this is one of them. The other’s in Anaheim. And here’s a drawing of it, in northern Italy or the Chicago board of trade so La Salle Street making all the property on the street more valuable. What’s wrong with terminated vistas? Gropius implied, it was somehow fascist to have terminated vistas. I think that’s extreme. Seventeenth century Holland, they didn’t even know what fascism was. They were just making money. They built that.

Okay, so now, they’re coming back. You say, how could they-if they could do it in the 17th century, we know we could do it today. And we are. Target’s doing it. This is in Gaithersburg. Sure, it’s not quite as beautiful as the 17th century in Holland, but it’s the same principal. And the developers are bringing it back. Gaithersburg at the old Washingtonian Mall, it’s great they put in streets and blocks, Kohl’s, all these things can go into old central cities. Target will now do that. Go talk to them. They’ll even do it without subsidy unless you start handing them money. Or you can even do it with monumental buildings. Santiago Calatrava, who is a great contemporary architect, automatically put this on the terminated vista. And you could do this in Rochester. You have the great buildings like this. There’s all kinds of vistas. Pay attention to them. Sorry, and in Buffalo, you have a new congressman who actually smiles once in a while. He actually thinks that they might win. The mayor, the governor, you have a new governor. New governors can do good things. It takes a while before they turn into governors who don’t do good things. You have the earth. You have the environment. Cities are good. People are close together. They use less energy. So that’s good. Rochester is good for the environment. Try that out. You have Lead ND coming out. We’re doing that with the Green Building Council and NRDC. They used to do this. You know, help the environment. Move your plant 20 miles out of town and have a green building. So we met with them and now they understand locational efficiency. It’s clean in the city.

And this is the kind of urbanism that could be created. Beautiful cities where people are connected. They can come back. That’s the lesson for Upstate New York. And if you want to learn more, you can buy my book. Thank you.

JULIA VITULLO-MARTIN: Thank you very much, John. Yes, why don’t we take this opportunity to let people sit down if you’re on the edges and you can’t see. So, well, that was just a splendid beginning. You’ll have an opportunity to ask John questions. After the panel, we’ll do a Q and A and then John will also be at lunch.

About the Author

Tim Hoefer

Tim Hoefer is president & CEO of the Empire Center for Public Policy.

Read more by Tim Hoefer

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