Originally Posted by J. Will
To the contrary, a huge percentage of the population left Jacksonville's original boundaries.
1950 population: 204,517 (in 30.2 square miles)
2010 population of 1950 boundaries: 104,047
That's a loss of nearly 50%, and a 2010 population density of just 3,445 ppsm, which is extraordinarily low for such a small area.
Thanks. And also the land area of Duval County may be 774 square miles (quite average), about half of it is still pine land. The average density is still quite low, but I'd say for inhabited parts of the county range from 2,000-3,000 ppsm on average, some parts lower and some parts in the core (not downtown) between 5,000-7,000 ppsm.
Originally Posted by ardecila
I'm lucky to be a Chicagoan, but I've also witnessed a remarkable transformation as New Orleans has come back - not just from Katrina but from a massive streak of blight and abandonment that has dogged the city since the 80s. So I know for a fact that such turnarounds are indeed possible.
I hate to say this, but our federal government has really really helped NOLA along, especially post-Katrina. Most cities do not see the same benefit and I'm not trying to be political here, but NOLA has been a Washington favorite. Without the help, it would probably not have come back like it has. As we speak they are still injecting billions of dollars for government contracted projects in the city.
The only question is, what drives Jacksonville's economy? You can't rebuild a city without economic growth. To get that growth, you have to offer something unique, and there has to be some kind of way to attract business growth. Low taxes aren't really an option since large cities can never compete with suburban areas on that score - so cities need to offer something unique and market themselves.
I agree with all of this. Jacksonville's economy is largely driven by the following:
2) Finance/Insurance (still the regional or corporate HQ of many banks and still nicknamed the Hartford of the South, though both industries are shells of what they were there)
3) Real Estate (growing Sunbelt city in Florida...do the math)
4) Trade and logistics (90% of trade with PR comes through Jax, which has direct flights there and a large local population, and the port is still considered a major port)
Rail - CSX is Hq'd there, as well as Rail America and FECI/FEC
5) Manufacturing (it's still an old, industrial blue collar town, which makes it unique for Florida)
Outside of city officials who normally impede progress and do all the wrong things, there are a few prominent businessmen who would like to see the city change and adapt to one that is attractive to young professionals. These men include:
1) Rob Clements - CEO of Everbank, the largest bank in FL and the bank with naming rights to the Jags stadium (hometown investment)
2) Peter Rummell - the current chair of ULI and long-term resident of Jacksonville, has some of the best business connections in the country due to his former positions/jobs
3) Shahad Khan - the new Jaguars billionaire owner who parks his yacht downtown (instead of the ICW or SoFla) and is vocal about supporting and improving downtown
4) John Delaney - 2 terms prior mayor of Jacksonville who initiated the Better Jacksonville Plan and is currently president of UNF, holds sway
5) John Mica - House Transportation Committee Chair, resident of Winter Park in Orlando (his district extends up to metro Jax), and a long-time proponent of fixed-rail transit in Jacksonville
Not to mention, many cities much larger than Jax don't even have a community like that which is represented on MetroJacksonville
. The website and its editors and many active posters now hold a lot of sway in the city policy guiding process, so there is hope that things will now change more quickly, and for the better instead of for the worse.