Economist: Open Space Key to Baltimore’s Growth
Anirban Basu argues that Baltimore needs to invest in open space to make the "creative class" happy.
Anirban Basu, CEO of Sage Policy Group, said open space is a key factor in revitalizing Baltimore.
During the Roland Park Civic League’s annual meeting Tuesday, Basu said cities such as Philadelphia and New York City have experienced renaissance in part because of their commitment to creating green space.
"A city that under invests in parks will find itself in a whole heap of trouble," Basu said.
Basu, a Homeland resident, argued the biggest threat to Baltimore growing, is not being able to provide the quality of life that members of the “creative class” desire.
"Towson and Columbia’s faux urban environs are the biggest threat to the city," Basu said.
But he said the city will need a mayor and council members with the vision and leadership to understand the importance of open space, not just in Roland Park, but citywide.
"It takes a William Donald Schaefer—because if he were here right now it would already be done," Basu said.
Although Basu said Baltimore is already in good shape as far as open space is concerned, especially compared to cities such as St. Louis. He criticized that city for neglecting the Gateway Arch, and anchoring ferryboat casinos in site of the monument.
“This is a city that doesn’t understand it’s own history,” Basu said.