Tag Archives: cities

Earth Hour downtown: SU gets F-plus

For all its connectivity to downtown, how is it that Syracuse University blew the exam on global warming?  Last evening, people in great cities large and small throughout the world participated in Earth Hour. We decided to do the same, turned off all our lights and headed downtown, expecting to see people walking in the balmy evening, enjoying the 60-minute relief from light pollution, maybe even talking to each other in candle-lit bars and restaurants.

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A 10-minute primer

If 100 people in Eastwood were to read this through – it takes less time than watching just the ads in “Dancing With the Stars” – and if each were to educate just one other person about the effect on Eastwood of the proposed Walgreens sign, then we’d have a great turn-out at the April 6 Planning Commission meeting. That’s when a decision will be made about what they want: a 10-foot LED stand-alone ground sign. It violates the overlay district guidelines in four ways: sign square footage, total number of signs, prohibition against ground signs, and prohibition against animated signs.

But here’s what you want to read first, an email reprinted here with permission from our neighbor and retired professor of architecture, Sig Snyder:

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Despite what Syracusans say about their city…

Syracuse is a great city that is in transition from an era of manufacturing to one of science, technology and education. We’ve always had the latter three, but they’re becoming much more of a focus. During an era of transition, there are losses. Real people are affected in very real ways by those losses. But those who continue to badmouth Syracuse are missing the larger picture. An outsider’s view of Syracuse, carefully measured against criteria set for a large number of cities, may surprise a few of us.

“Expansion Management Magazine” helps companies evaluate future locations. They recently released their 2007 “Quality of Life Quotient” Rankings, Evaluating Affordability of Middle Class Lifestyle. Lo and behold, Syracuse is in the top ten mid-sized cities for overall quality of life. Before you “click here for a list of the Top 10 overall rankings for Midsize Metro Areas,” (a .pdf file) think of three mid-sized cities you think are better than Syracuse for middle-class living. Then check to see where they fall on the above list.

By the way, this great ranking of a “rust belt” city is not an anomaly. You might be surprised to find cities like Binghamton, Pittsburgh, Albany, and Burlington on the lists. Guess which city ranked #1 for large cities? Our neighbor, Rochester, NY.

So, next time you’re tempted to get all negative on us again about Syracuse, or upstate New York for that matter, consider what others have concluded. Maybe it’s time we Syracusans shut up and listened.