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Does Baton Rouge have a fighting chance?


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Here's a really neat thread I found on the Urban Discussion forum and thought it would be a good idea to bring it hear. I think Baton Rouge has a chance, especially in light of recent past events. There also seems to be a wave of progressivism in our city that wasn't there before.

What does it take to move forward, or even "keep up with the times" in todays world?

Is "your city" or better yet, what city has the best chance at "making it"

The forces affecting cities around the world are as varried as the people that live in the Adobe Hovels or gleaming glass skyscrapers. is your urban pride wrapped up in a nice place that is destined to slowly lose standing in the regional national continental and global playing field?

Most people on this board are American and most Americans do not get the expreience of living abroad or even traveling abroad too much(statisticaly). So I understand most have a les global answer, but at least on a continental level does your city have "it"

What I am talking about is not based on a 90's sun belt population boom, or an '80s office boom, or even a '05 condo boom. Does your city have the hold it will need to stay competative in 2018? 2028?2058?2108?

now we can not completely predict technology, but lets look at some key factors.


is your city destined to be an outer hub for an all ready major city? (I am looking at you Wilmingtin DE, or New Haven CT, or Milwaukee WI, Buffalo NY,San Diego CA etc...)

Is your city the main city in your state?

will there be governmental favoritism?

will there be countless state jobs?

Is your city well connected?

by air

by Highway

by rail

Is there a port?

international anything?

Is your city a superregional leader?

Salt Lake City?Denver? Minneapolis

yes you guys dominate huge areas of this country and therefore benefit from everything that happens within hundreds of miles of of your airport or CBD.

My city.. Hartford is a red headed step child between Boston and NY. two cities that truely matter in America, and actually mater internationally.

Mega Corps?

is the fortune 500 something your city aspires to or dominate? or do they just want to be listed?

how much influence do the top 10 CEO's of your city have on the face of this earth?

do they manage trillions of dollars in bank deposits like they do in Charlotte, and NY or is it insurance money like in Hartford, NY and Minneapolis? or is it manufacturing like Stamford with GE? or resources in Houston? or media in NY and LA?

Does your city have mass transit? you know london, Moscow, Tokyo NY do. do you want to compete? will you ever have a chance to compete?

will you run out of water? LA, PXH and Vegas come to mind

Is there a national government building your infrastructure and subsidizing your industry therefore creating jobs and a supposed utopian affluent lifestyle?

Dubai and DC?

are the corporate and therefore employment leaders in your city take over targets? now 10 years from now?

lets talk in reality?

where does it stand

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Baton Rouge has come a long way; but has a long way to go. Being the furthest deep-water inland port is major. It's also along the U.S. southern-most Interstate corridor I-10. Perfectly located in the Gulf South; a perfect distance from the Gulf. The right leaders are in finally in place for business to bring us into the 21st Century; Governor, Mayor, BRAC, etc. BR has a strong college base w/ LSU, Southern and BRCC. Pennington Bio-Medical Research Center will get crucial $$ to expand and is internationally known for it's obesity studies. BR has an emerging medical corridor.

Drinking water is no problem coming from the deep atresian wells that ranked it #2 Best Water behind only Denver last year. BR has been red-headed step child for places like NOLA and Houston, but that's slowly changing. BR will get to flex it's muscles some as well. Shaw, Albemarle, Amedysis, Lamar, Jacobs etc. should continue to do well

At least the very least a southern-bypass is crucial from Ascension, Iberville, WBR; esp. during Hurricane season. Build that now, while they wait 15 more years to decide where to put a loop. A Mass-transit connection would be nice!

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Baton Rouge is going to make it's mark on Louisiana and the region. It's much better than places like Beaumont, Lake Charles, Montgomery, etc (don't mean to offend if you live there), but it needs to attract more business, more college grads, and needs stronger public schools and police protection.

The weird part is that LSU's graduate school program will improve when the area's recruiters (employers) grow stronger and larger. Jobs attract grad students, who are more likely than undergrads to choose a more "local" job by preference, but also more likely to leave the state because of better opportunities. You think Houston or Dallas has any natural beauty? NO. They have good schools, big companies, and eventually they created a name for decent parks and recreation activities.

If you want to see Baton Rouge's progress, keep your eye on LSU's MBA program. Right now, it's very average despite what some think. It's improving pretty well, though....it's no UT, Texas A&M, or University of Washington. In fact, that is what Texas and the pacific Northwest has that Baton Rouge doesn't- a world (or even nationally) recognized MBA program. Notice that the Pacific Northwest and Texas have almost recession proof economies. .....just something to think about.

Albermarle is a huge win for Baton Rouge, but we need a couple of more new companies just like it. It was a long shot considering how little Baton Rouge has to offer.....Albermarle happens to have major investments already in the city, so they choose Baton Rouge for obvious reasons. In any case, they will need accountants, IA degrees, and MBAs- and why drive all the way to College Station for recruitment day when LSU is 5 minutes up the street?

I am not 100% sure about Southerns programs, but LSU and Southern both have big Law Schools (to be fair, I think we could use WAY FEWER LAWYERS in Baton Rouge).

Shaw, Exxon, Dow, the medical centers, and Pennington are the biggest recruiters in the area. I wouldn't be surprised if Canes and Lamar were added to that list soon. We could use a couple of more Fortune 1000 headquarters who would recruit a couple of graduates every semester from LSU. That makes the whole package more attractive.

What would also make the deal even more sweet for outsiders would be a large park or signature recreation area that would be a regional icon. Seattle, Houston...all those attractive cities all have good parks and some sort of signature arena or attraction (Space Needle, Reliant Stadium, Central Park, St. Louis Arch). Those dorky "most walkable city" designations hold some water in this area. It's important to offer good activities "outside of work" to attract those companies.

All we can attract until Baton Rouge is a serious player in the "outdoor activities", "adult playgrounds", and "interesting things to do" categories is companies who have to be here because of geographic reasons or companies that were already here.

A big, iconic park, attraction, or MASSIVE concert would be a big draw. LSU football is one of the big positives of the area, but maybe it's time for a minor league team.

A stronger LSU is a stronger Baton Rouge. A stronger Baton Rouge is a stronger Louisiana.

Baton Rouge is on a road to nowhere if we can't improve LSU and Southern U. You can kiss new employers goodbye if we can't clean up the streets...more police protection and smarter traffic control.

Mass transit- start small. I'd start in the LSU area and move to the surrounding neighborhoods, downtown, etc. Baton Rouge will have to implement commuter shuttles instead of mass transit, so residential areas to job centers are where the lines need to be made. You will always need a car if you live here.

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