Middle Main

A neighborhood just a little off center

I wanted to pass along a transcript of a talk that Malcolm Gladwell gave in Baltimore not long ago. Mr. Gladwell is the author of several National Bestsellers - The Tipping Point and Outliers. 

In the talk he focused his attention on the importance of public goods. His main example was that of a small town in Pennsylvania with an amazing record of low heart disease.  This Mr. Gladwell said was because of the close proximity people live to each another and the fact that they valued resources that the public shared.  This success wasn't about owning your own flat screen tv or having a large yard, it was in the resources that the community could come together around. The people and the city thrived due to the richness of the urban fabric.  

I feel Poughkeepsie can learn from these ideas. Creating a vibrant city is not about the success of an individual, it is about the success of the entire community.  Only by investing in our own public goods, the assets that we hold, may it be people, land or knowledge, will the city become the unique place it once was.

 

 

When you have a moment feel free to read the article. 

http://www.godowntownbaltimore.com/Publications/Malcolm_Gladwell_Tr...

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Comment by Andrew Sawtelle on February 16, 2011 at 7:27pm

This is great, Matthew. Thanks for sharing this with us.

 

Many of the people who live and work in Middle Main have come here from La Cienega, a town in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca. I wonder how well the story of the two Rosetos can compare? There are many differences, but people have brought many existing community connections with them.

 

Elizabeth and I were talking about the importance of interpersonal connections at last week's meeting. It's heartening to see a nationally-known commentator like Gladwell stress this over and over again. We know that density and the connections that brings are essential to strengthening a community. In a time when private goods are getting harder to come by, the public goods may prove themselves to be a better investment.

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