As a 23-year-old “young professional,” I have a desire to live in a sophisticated, active, inspiring, convenient and pleasant urban area. As many studies, polls and my own observations have shown, this is far from a unique desire in my generation and the generations to come.

The continuing rejections to fund projects for downtown are an example of the Metro Council’s and the current majority population’s inability to recognize future implications of such policy. These projects, most of which already have dedicated funds, are seeds of future private-sector-driven prosperity. The town square with an iconic stage canopy and an iconic library are investments which will be returned over and over with the private sector rushing in to capitalize on these inspiring public investments with new downtown housing and business.

After decades of slow revitalization of our downtown, we are now so close to having a place desirable to live and work. But now, after such an exciting charge toward a critical mass of public sector downtown development, we seem to be stopping short. We need to realize that stopping short of a critical mass of publicly funded projects in urban design situations could mean all of this will remain a cost rather than an investment.

I, along with so many of my generation, will leave this city because there is no place to live downtown because the private sector does not want to build downtown because attractive public investments in downtown are consistently stifled.


architecture and urban design

Baton Rouge