Great job, Milwaukee! Forbes finally cuts Milwaukee some slack, praises its “emerging downtown”
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In the many years that The A.V. Club’s sentient Great Job, Milwaukee! robot has scoured the Internet for any and all lists that include even the most trivial mention of Milwaukee, one peculiar fact has emerged: Forbes hates us. Whether its our nasty winter weather, our dubious status as a “comeback city,” or our toxic air and water, it seems that the nation’s financial magazine of record can’t help but focus on Milwaukee’s handful of shortcomings. But Forbes has apparently turned its Cream-City-shaped frown upside down by including it in its latest ultra-important and not-at-all-completely-frivolous list of U.S. cities with “emerging downtowns.” Great job, Milwaukee!
The Milwaukee community first turned its sights to downtown in 1988 with the RiverWalk initiative. In the decades since, the city passed zoning changes to encourage developers to erect more housing in the area. In 2002, with the help of $45 million in government funding, the city dismantled the mile-long elevated Park East freeway and replaced it with a landscaped boulevard. According to the Congress for New Urbanism, per-acre land values within the freeway footprint had surged 180% by 2006 from 2001. Since 2000, the downtown population has increased by nearly 26% compared to the greater city of Milwaukee, which has experienced an overall decline. Jobs in the area increased by nearly 4% from 2000 to 2010, and the median income of downtown households has climbed by 38% since 2000, compared to 2% for the city overall, according to Milwaukee Downtown organization.
Thanks, Forbes! Knowing that you finally have our backs takes a bit of the sting out of that time you called us the 14th most miserable city in the nation. Viva Milwaukee!
(As with all Great job, Milwaukee! posts, please share this important info a billion times on social media. And politely ignore the advice of Red Kross.)