The year is almost over. For many, it’s going to be a sigh of relief. For some it is going to be with some enjoyment about the things that are taking place in the area. Ever-rising condo prices are leading some to consider buying homes in areas that many would feel are not quite ready for reinvestment. The future of the city is tied to the reemergence of our residential neighborhoods as well as the reinvention of our downtown as an 21st century urban center, complete with its second wave of loft dwelling pioneers. The pioneering spirit carries over to our commercial districts, as many small businesses prepare to open or expand in the coming year outside of the city center. It has not been perfect by any stretch of the imagination, with needless murder and mayhem in our streets, most notably for us the unfortunate death of a family that seemed to fade from memory for a time. The city must and will move forward, though many may not be happy with the speed of that change, regardless of the results at the polls next November.
I’ve taken in conversations with people to say that “New Yorkers realize that a New York minute is much longer than everyone else thinks it is.” This is to say that to expect problems that developed over time or that have existed for longer than they deserve to disappear overnight here or anywhere else is insane. I wish the city of Birmingham patience as the New Year begins. I have a feeling that the best is yet to come. I also hope that the city gets to live up to the vision that I wrote about earlier this year.
UPDATE: Click here to check out our year in review series
Another favorite line of mine is one that I learned my first year of college, “Leadership is action, not position.” Perhaps people need to stop waiting for the leader and determine how they can help lead. That’s one of my goals for the coming year. Here are some other predictions for 2007 for Birmingham, Alabama.
Generations X & Y will take a bigger stand than they already have for the future of their city. Organizations like Catalyst and a recent addition to the landscape, Enuff, will have a great deal to say in the coming year, and people will begin to listen realizing the passion among these groups.
2007 will be Birmingham’s year of culture. It may be the year of art for the state, but it will spill over and allow all of our cultural institutions to benefit. Stories published in the New York Times and the Washington Post and the recent recognition of the Civil Rights district as a national historic district will lead to an increased interest in the city. There will also be an expanded focus on music from outside as well as a rush on the city due to such incredible events as the Pompeii exhibit to our Museum of Art.
We’ll see that next hip area of Birmingham emerge. There’s too much interest in some of our other areas of city besides our city center for this not to happen. I’m just not daring enough to predict where that area will be, but it will be in the city boundaries.
Speaking of goals…