Rail and Port Activities Buoy Economy, Top Priority

In an earlier post, an alternative to rebuilding the areas hit by Sandy was posed. In addition to storm resistant building materials and construction, a revamping of zoning laws that respected nature’s sheer destructive capabilities, by restricting housing developments, was offered. As a nyportqualification to that idea, economic engines such as ports, rails and others should be the first, if not the only sector, to be rebuilt in the same locations. Ports are inherently exposed to the risks associated with coastal environments. Although the situation is not the greatest, the site is superb, enabling commerce that is a cornerstone of many port cities’ and regions’ economies. It could be argued that housing development also generates revenue, but where is the analysis that proves the cost of this storm is not outweighed by those revenues. Generating upwards of hundreds of billions of dollars annually in New York alone, the economic impact of ports and related infrastructure is proven to be more valuable.

New York officials will meet with lawmakers on Capitol Hill (Hearings – U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation) in the coming hours to discuss the damages incurred from the storm and appeal for support in the effort to rebuild. The congressmen should be prudent and not write blank checks. While the wish to restore everything and everyone back to the day before Sandy touched shore is admirable, it would be more gallant to consider the future.

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2 Comments

  1. allthingsgeography1

     /  December 7, 2012

    Interesting idea. I personally think it’s crazy to have housing developments so close to the coasts. In the end, the problems that come from meteorological and geophysical events along the shoreline to housing seem to outweigh any benefit (if there really is any benefit to housing being in that specific location…unlike ports). The only issue might be that some people choose to move to specific towns just for ocean views and that kind of closeness wouldn’t exist if zoning does not permit it, possibly resulting in loss of potential population growth into those communities and therefore lost potential tax revenue as part of growth. On the other hand, one could argue that the benefits of having ports and rail would greatly outflank any loss by not having the oceanside properties. New jobs would be created, new residents would move in for those jobs and port communities tend to boom quite successfully.

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  2. allthingsgeography1

     /  December 7, 2012

    Reblogged this on All Things Geography.

    Reply

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