I had an interesting conversation with a life-long friend.
I was fretting about Birmingham’s inability to keep pace with other regions.
He said I was totally missing what is about to happen.
He warned that many high profile American cities and regions appear to be headed for trouble and that Birmingham would benefit.
He suggested I do some research…so I did…
New Orleans, Louisiana
The future of New Orleans is tenuous.
Ida was the sixth tropical cyclone to make landfall in Louisiana since the start of 2020.
According to an article in the New Yorker “New Orleans is sinking. The city was built on marshland, and …the surface is dropping. Much of the city is already significantly below sea level…In 2019, the Corps announced that…the system it had just finished upgrading would no longer provide adequate protection to the city as early as 2023.”
Miami is facing a perilous future.
A Scientific American piece, says “new modeling by Resources for the Future (RFF), a nonpartisan economic think tank, reveals that ‘100-year floods’ could occur every few years rather than once a century. Miami will…become ‘the most vulnerable major coastal city in the world,’ RFF said, with hundreds of billions of dollars in assets under assault from winds, storm surges, coastal flooding and sea-level rise.”
New York City
New York City likely to have serious problems ahead.
A Penn State University climate scientist, Dr. Michael E. Mann told Salon, “In a worst case scenario, much of Manhattan would be submerged by 2300 if current greenhouse gas emission rates are not curbed.”
And the Western states…
The Smithsonian warns that Hoover Dam’s Lake Mead continues to hit record-low water levels because of a severe drought sweeping through the western United States. A water shortage will result in “large water cuts…to major cities, including San Diego, Los Angeles and Phoenix. Las Vegas obtains about 90 percent of its drinking water from Lake Mead…”
Watch the news and you see thousands of people escaping the ever increasing number of wildfires in California, Texas, Arizona, Montana, and elsewhere.
And according to the California Earthquake County Alliance, The most comprehensive statewide analysis of earthquake probabilities determined that the chance of having one or more magnitude 6.7 or larger earthquakes in California over the next 30 years is 99.7%.
Birmingham a solid option
None of us are rooting for environmental disasters, but if they do occur, Birmingham’s poised to be a solid option.
Located in the heart of the Sunbelt, Birmingham is within driving distance of both mountains and beaches and has four distinct seasons with glorious autumn days and Technicolor springs.
Birmingham’s people are smart and generous and we have some the best healthcare in the world.
Often called the ’20 minute city,’ Birmingham is easy to get around.
Another benefit for Birmingham: Atlanta, Georgia is nearby, and with some leadership and vision, high speed rail could create incredible opportunities for us.
Birmingham primed and ready to go
Railroad Park opened in 2010 and Birmingham began a transformation.
Regions Field, Rotary Trail, Uptown, The Pizitz and Food Hall, The Lyric, Red Mountain Park, Protective Stadium and the soon to be completed Legacy Arena and CityWalk BHM. Our downtown I59/20 bridges have been rebuilt and we’ve opened a modern airport.
UAB continues its expansion. Bars and restaurants are opening everywhere. There’s non-strop construction all the way west to I-65 on the Southside. Birmingham’s downtown and midtown’s populations are growing day by day.
And our Birmingham region is coming out of COVID stronger than ever. There are scores of major projects in the works—including mixed use developments around old Carraway Hospital, the former Trinity Medical Center, and Southtown.
In a post COVID world, many workers will likely be able to live anywhere.
Birmingham appears to be at the right place at the right time.
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David Sher is the founder and publisher of ComebackTown. He’s past Chairman of the Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce (BBA), Operation New Birmingham (REV Birmingham), and the City Action Partnership (CAP).
Invite David to speak for free to your group about how we can have a more prosperous metro Birmingham. firstname.lastname@example.org.