Buffalo’s Tipping Point: Timing Is Everything

By Griffin Jones

“Someone like me wouldn’t move to a place like Buffalo until we were certain that Buffalo was going to improve well beyond where it is now,”

This Catch-22 is exactly why Buffalo is just on the horizontal side of its Tipping Point. It’s also why Buffalo needs a push right now in the form of increased involvement from people who already live in the Buffalo area. We need talented people from outside of the area to continue our city’s rehabilitation, yet Buffalo has to progress  further in order to be attractive to them.

Buffalo’s improvement has increased rapidly over the last  ten years. The sharp decline of the y axis through the 1970s, 80s, and 90s has been blunted. It’s too soon to tell; as of the 2010 Census, Buffalo had still lost more than ten percent of its population, but qualitatively, Buffalo has turned a corner.

Hertel Avenue on a beautiful Friday afternoon.

Hertel Avenue on a beautiful Friday afternoon.

Patriots of Buffalo are very encouraged, as well they should be. But every movement requires a few vertical spikes at various points  in their trajectory to preserve momentum. Whether it was the Civil Rights Movement or the market domination of Apple, there were powerful events that rapidly accelerated gains amid otherwise relatively slow and steady progress.

Based on the course of Buffalo’s improvement over the last decade, a “push” to accelerate momentum is necessary now. Buffalo needs the talent and experience of more people from other areas to advance. The thoughts that opened this post (from an entrepreneur from Boston) articulate the barrier to this breakthrough.

I will go into detail about how Buffalo pushes over this Tipping Point over the next few points. Just know, Buffalo’s time is now, and we need all hands on deck.

Does anyone know how to make charts?

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3 thoughts on “Buffalo’s Tipping Point: Timing Is Everything

  1. Buffalo needs a concrete, viable plan of action to generate enthusiasm. Enthusiasm for enthusiasm’s sake alone is mere “boosterism”.

    Unfortunately, there seem to be entrenched interests that are squandering opportunities, like the IDA tax breaks given to fund more suburban sprawl, large retail outlets, etc. Buffalo will only get one shot at revitalization from the so-called Buffalo Billion. Getting it right is crucial and requires technical planning and political courage to disregard special interests. Only time will tell whether the current political-economic structure in Buffalo, NY, can deliver.

    We need enthusiastic realism coupled to a can-do attitude.

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