Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Is The Future of the Rust Belt Its Abundant Water?

Emily Badger thinks it may be:
In all our fixation on the iconic image of rusting smokestacks, we often forget that manufacturing may mean something else entirely in the 21st century. We also forget that those cities known most widely for their idled steel mills and meatpacking plants also possess some inherent strengths that are still relevant today. Donald Carter, director of the Remaking Cities Institute at Carnegie Mellon, ticks off a long list of them: authenticity and heritage, walkable neighborhoods and transit, universities and medical centers, recreational amenities and abundant fresh water.
This last asset will inevitably become even more important. About 20 percent of the world's surface supply of fresh water is located in the Great Lakes region, and this could entirely change how we think about cities there in a future where water comes to be more valuable than oil.
""I think there could be a new terminology," Carter says. "The Sun Belt becomes the Drought Belt, and the Rust Belt becomes the Water Belt."
Considering the limitations to growth Texas may face as water becomes scarce there, Detroit and Cleveland look pretty solid.  I think it will definitely benefit the Great Lakes region (and Dayton with its aquifer) to have a reliable source of water.

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