- From 2000 to 2014, downtown Rochester's population increased from 3,239 to 6,138 (i.e. almost doubled.)
- By 2016, downtown's population is anticipated to be 7,873.
- If this rate of growth of 143% every 16 years were to continue (a big if, I know), downtown Rochester would have almost 19,000 residents by 2032. That number is remarkably close to the Brookings Institution's 2 percent solution for creating a healthy and vital city.
Friday, October 23, 2015
Without a doubt, downtown Rochester is the metro area's most glaring weakness. The 1980s and 1990s were not kind to the center city, and those who were around to watch it fall continue to harbor a sense of loss which translates into ongoing pessimism. Fortunately, those of us who are either younger or recent transplants have a remarkably positive outlook on the future of downtown. Does this optimism simply represent naivete, or is it based in fact? Here is one set of statistics which suggests that Rochester is on its way to overcoming its greatest blemish. (Note: some would argue that concentrated poverty and urban education are bigger problems, but I would counter by saying that repopulating the city will "solve" those problems statistically much faster than any idealistic model that claims it can rapidly reverse generations of undereducation and underachievement.)