Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Dayton: limits to "caring"/limits to "voice".

Dayton is really just the city of Dayton. Most people who live in this area do not identify with the city, but rather with the suburb they live in. For me it is Washington Township/Centerville, specifically the area in the pix above. which is really a suburban edge city, near the Dayton Mall. This and similar places near the freeways are where the real economic life of the Dayton metropolitan area is happening, and where most of the people live, work, and shop.

I enjoy studying the old city as sort of a hobby (and go down there for arts/music things), and I do post on Dayton city issues elsewhere . Yet I really am not a stakeholder in the city as I do not pay taxes there, don't own property there, nor vote there. It is merley a leisure-time entertainment place for me.

I can care about the place, or be interested in it , but only up to a point as I have no real voice or valid stake regarding city issues, which is something one needs to be aware of it.

As a topic of study and comment, I am also thinking suburbia is maybe more relevant, too, given its importance. Living here in Washington Township is an excellent urban observatory for suburban studies. There is even a journal devoted to the suburban studies concept: Oopollis


Anonymous said...

Jeffrey, I just found your site and am enjoying your take on various issues related to Dayton. I wish to comment on your statements which said you are not a stakeholder in the city of Dayton. I understand what you mean, because I'm presently in the same boat. Although I grew up in Dayton, I live in Beavercreek; thus, I don't pay taxes in Dayton, my kid didn't go through the Dayton Public School System (although my wife is a school teacher in the system), and I also enjoy the arts and other attractions within the city but I go home outside the city limits. Still, I consider myself a Daytonian. One of the points I wish to make is even though I presently live outside the city limits, I am (and you are) impacted by what happens in the city center. When visitors come to town, they usually start downtown to see what the city is like. One of the things businesses look at when considering relocating is the image of the city as a whole, starting with its center. Unless they're a military contractor needing to be close to Wright-Patt, they usually don't look at the suburbs first; they look at the Dayton region as a single entity. If the city center is bustling and full of life, that speaks well for the entire region. We all need to think of ourselves as Daytonians and support concepts which lift up the entire region, not just one suburb. We need to plan as a region, share resources as a region, and speak with one voice as Dayton. I personally believe a metro government is the best model for the region. Indianapolis and Louisville, two very successful urban areas, have gone to this with tremendous results. If we continue acting like what happens in the urban core has nothing to do with us and continue thinking parochially and not regionally, we'll continue to sink, and that includes those of us living in the suburbs.

Jefferey said...

Thanks for reading! I appreciate yr interest and comments.

I do look at this area as a whole, not as narrow suburban interests, which is why I post more on "city culture" things, but also note were city issues overlap into suburbia, like that "Section 8" issue.

It is in the policial arena or commenting on political things, where I am a bit leery, particularly about Dayton city politics.