Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Norrköping a sister city of Racine?

I was very recently reminded of the wonderful site, thanks KK!

I spent the day with the family in a Swedish city called Norrköping with a population of 93,000. At its lowest it had 82,000 people year 2000. It is a city that reminds me very much of Racine. A former giant of industry especially textile industry. Industry started to decline during the 60s and 70 and during the 90s it was considered a horrible place, empty industry buildings everywhere, no jobs, no hope for development anymore. As I read at the museum of work that we went to there they worked very hard to rebrand the city. They worked together with a close by city and took one of its old industrial buildings and expanded the university from that close by city which drew the youth there and with that a future generation that would call the city home.

Educated youth started to set down roots and starting new businesses. Old industrial buildings are now being turned into condos and office spaces. A very alive "centrum" aka downtown with several malls that are completely full of shops, restaurants and cafes everywhere. The history of this city is so alive even though the stores are modern through the old industrial architecture and old bolts and holes in the walls of these old buildings.

I believe Racine could learn a lot from this town that was on the brink of being abandoned due to lack of hope and future. Give the youth a good education  and hope for a better future, give people the opportunity to better themselves (yes I'm talking about free education and healthcare) and they will rebuild your city. I know the subject is a lot more complicated than what I'm making it sound like, but it's hard not to be inspired by the transformation of this beautiful city. I took a few pictures, I probably should have taken more but I wanted to show how similar it looks to Racine. That the old can be made new.

1 comment:

  1. Such hope and such beautiful old buildings! Many look like those in dilapidated areas around our town. They just don't build them as sturdy as they used to. I hate to see our buildings standing empty.

    Our schools are currently making changes, going with an academy model that, if done well, will be a good start to bringing in business partnerships, new opportunities and hopefully funding for the betterment of our youth. Our current political climate and crime factor needs to improve. Many of our children and their families are still are living in poverty. We certainly need hope and a change.