Growth is Good. Let’s Keep it Going
Good news. The City of Milwaukee has been growing over the past decade, albeit slowly, but this recent trend is better than the decades long slide from a high point of 741,324 in 1960 to a recent low of 596,974 in 2000. Since 2000 Milwaukee has seen a small, but significant increase to 604,477 residents. Yes, a growth rate of just 1.3%, but it is a start. This recent growth is surely connected to significant property tax reductions, historically low crime levels, and an outstanding record of excellence for the Milwaukee Public School District. Right? Apparently, not. Of course, a strong job market, and a more balanced taxing scheme could help improve these numbers, but what’s interesting is that Milwaukee has seen a population increase in the face of these so-called limiters. So the question has to be, how did this happen?
The Park East, despite its issues, still has a great potential to fill in with high-density residential projects. The Third Ward has more room to grow, and has the potential for significant growth if the Hoan Bridge is rebuilt to allow the freeway ramps to be removed. Just a few of the many other opportunities for growth include the possibilities along S. 2nd Street, the Reed Street Yards (incidentally take a look at this thesis project by Austen Conrad and Ryan Sands), Eco Bay, and the Hide House all of which could bring additional residents to Milwaukee. Unfortunately, it seems that more often than not, we as residents work to stop Milwaukee’s growth. I do hope when big ideas such as lowering the Hoan Bridge, or small projects like Eco Bay, come along they are giving a fair shake prior to saying, “what about the cars” or “not in my backyard”.