Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Don’t Discard Unpolished Gems

“If there is one lesson to be learned, it’s to not discard a city’s unpolished gems. Back in the 1920s, the Army Corps of Engineers wanted to permanently pave over what had been a nuisance waterway prone to flooding and sewer problems.” I flew thru Detroit today and read a comparison of San Antonio’s River Walk with Detroit’s feeble attempts at such an attraction in the Detroit Free Press. The two cities’ NBA teams are playing each other in Game 3 of the NBA Finals tonight, so such comparisons and mayoral bets are the order of the day.

“Only the intercession of local women, a small group of activists whom Dick Rigby of the nonprofit Waterfront Center in Washington, DC calls the classic ‘ladies in tennis shoes types,’ blocked the Corps and saved the waterway for development.”

San Antonio which has grown into the USA’s 7th largest city has over 12 million annual visitors each year, many of whom visit its famous River Walk. I’ve been there many times myself and never tire of visiting it.

What hidden gem do you have in your town? How can you unlock its potential?

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