• Monuments to genocide - There are monuments in Syracuse City Parks that commemorate an act of genocide carried out by the United States Government against the Onondaga Nation in April of 1779. These monuments memorialize the Van Schaik Expedition—a part of the infamous Sullivan-Clinton campaign—which passed from Fort Stanwix, through the present-day City of Syracuse, on its way to … Continue reading Monuments to genocide
  • Hidden Village Squares - In the early 1800’s, there were several distinct villages within Syracuse’s present city limits. Each had its own small business district, meeting hall, and churches, and many were built around a public square or village green. As Syracuse grew to encompass these small villages, their central public spaces became less important, and while some—such as … Continue reading Hidden Village Squares
  • Getting people out on the water - Syracuse should reconnect with its waterfront. This City was built around water, and we have miles and miles of creeks, canals, and lakefront where people can get in touch with Syracuse’s maritime side. One way to make that happen is to just make our various waterfronts more accessible—give people public space next to the water, … Continue reading Getting people out on the water
  • A Waterfront City - Water created Syracuse. Natural springs brought salt up from underground deposits to briny pools on the surface. Onondaga Creek powered a sawmill that turned trees into the lumber that built the early village. The Erie Canal turned the little settlement at the corner of Genesee and Salina into a city. This is a maritime town. … Continue reading A Waterfront City
  • Neighborhood-Level Population Change - Since the 2000 census, the total number of people living in Syracuse has remained remarkably stable. From 146,070 people in 2000 to 145,170 in 2010 to 146,620 in 2020, the City’s topline population figure has never moved more than 2.4% between censuses, and the most recent count is within 1.7% of the 2000 count. But … Continue reading Neighborhood-Level Population Change
  • A New Kind of Population Growth - The 2020 census is a big deal for Central New York. Not only did the City of Syracuse post its first decade of population growth since 1950, but—more importantly—the City’s rate of growth exceeded the rest of the county’s. Between 2010 and 2020, Syracuse’s population grew by 2.38% while the towns’ collective population grew by … Continue reading A New Kind of Population Growth
  • Public Parks and Climate Change - Climate change is here, and Syracuse is already feeling it. The last several summers have been some of the hottest on record, and new weather patterns are scrambling all our seasons. We need to do everything we can to stop climate change, of course—driving less, greening the grid—but in the meantime we also have to … Continue reading Public Parks and Climate Change
  • Downtown’s suburban population - We’ve all heard about Downtown’s growing residential population, but the most recent census figures only put the neighborhood at 3,298 permanent residents. That’s just 2.3% of Syracuse’s entire population, and it’s far fewer people than live in Eastwood, the Southside, Westcott, or just about any other city neighborhood. If Downtown were a village, it’d be … Continue reading Downtown’s suburban population
  • Preparing for sustainable, equitable growth - A lot of people are pretty pessimistic about Syracuse’s prospects for future population growth. ‘Our best days are behind us,’ ‘this place is going nowhere fast,’ ‘who’d want to live somewhere with this weather?’ People who think this way are fatalists—they think Syracuse is fated to decline, and there’s nothing we can do about it. … Continue reading Preparing for sustainable, equitable growth
  • Demographic change between 2010-2019, part 3 - Population is a function of two variables: the size of households and the number of households. If households get bigger, population will also grow even if the total number of households remains the same. And if the total number of households increases, population will also grow even if the average size of those households remains … Continue reading Demographic change between 2010-2019, part 3
  • Demographic change between 2010-2019, part 2 - Syracuse has long been one of the youngest municipalities in the county, and SCSD is one of the only districts that’s seen a growing enrollment in recent years. But over the last decade, Syracuse’s population started aging, and the total number of children decreased while the City’s adult population grew. Like variations in total population, … Continue reading Demographic change between 2010-2019, part 2
  • Demographic change between 2010-2019, part 1 - After years of precipitous decline, Syracuse’s overall population has held remarkably steady over the last decade. Between 2010 and 2019, the total number of people living in the City decreased by just 1,890 or 1.3%. But look at the tract-level data, and it’s clear that Syracuse’s population has been anything but stable. Some neighborhoods boomed, … Continue reading Demographic change between 2010-2019, part 1
  • What to do with Shoppingtown - After losing out on millions of dollars in tax revenue and spending millions more in bankruptcy court, Onondaga County has gotten legal control of Shoppingtown Mall. Now the County’s just got to figure out what to do with that 70 acre property. Given the geographic location of the site and the demographic trends in the … Continue reading What to do with Shoppingtown
  • National Elections are Local Too - The City of Syracuse is governed by City Hall, Onondaga County, New York State, and the Federal Government. Each level of government has jurisdiction here, and each one owes a responsibility to this community that goes beyond their duty to its residents as individual voters. National elections are local elections too. Syracuse’s population loss is such … Continue reading National Elections are Local Too
  • Who will ride BRT? - Talk to non-bus-riders about Centro, and eventually they’ll say something to the effect of “you know a specific challenge that we have in Syracuse is that bus ridership is associated with socio-economic class, and so the question is how do we get people of all classes to ride the bus. How does Centro get me … Continue reading Who will ride BRT?
  • Who Lives Downtown? - The dominant narrative of Downtown’s resurgence goes something like this: after years of neglect, a huge change in popular attitudes towards ‘the city’ have drawn people back to Downtown and supported millions of dollars in investment in new businesses, building renovations, and housing. No longer is Downtown just a place to go for work—a central … Continue reading Who Lives Downtown?
  • A $45 Million Jobs Program for City Residents - Jobs are the number one issue in Syracuse. Good jobs, ones that pay well, ones that don’t require unnecessary credentials, jobs that people can get to whether or not they own a car. In a real way, the best thing that City Hall could do for the City of Syracuse would be to run a … Continue reading A $45 Million Jobs Program for City Residents
  • Pools, Police, and Priorities - It is such good news that the pools will open up, that children and families will be able to cool down during this historically hot summer, that kids are getting at least one thing that they’re asking for. But it is ridiculous that it took a GoFundMe to make it happen. After City Hall announced … Continue reading Pools, Police, and Priorities
  • Why Do We Need This Many Police? - Syracuse needs a new idea of public safety—a new paradigm that sends healthcare and social workers to deal with health and social issues. A new paradigm that significantly reduces the number of interactions that police officers have with the public and significantly reduces the number of police officers employed by City Hall. New ideas threaten … Continue reading Why Do We Need This Many Police?
  • Systematic Reformation of Public Safety - Protests across the county have shown that American policing is broken—every single city has local cases of abuse, brutality, and murder to march against, and in every single city police have responded to criticism with military force. The problem isn’t just ‘a few bad apples,’ the problem is a broken institution that replicates the same … Continue reading Systematic Reformation of Public Safety