Richard Florida doesn’t explicitly mention Ed Glaeser in his
column today in the Toronto Globe & Mail, but it can easily be read
as a direct response to Glaeser’s pessimistic
view of Buffalo in City Journal.
Glaeser says that any attempt to revitalize Buffalo is doomed; Florida, by
contrast, places Buffalo in the context of a larger "mega-region"
including Rochester, Toronto, and maybe even Montreal, Ottawa, and Syracuse.
Looked at that way, he says, it’s huge and vibrant, "a trans-border economic
powerhouse that stretches from Buffalo to Quebec City":
Tor-Buff-Chester is bigger than the San Francisco-Silicon Valley mega-region,
Greater Paris, Hong Kong and Shanghai, and more than twice the size of Cascadia,
which stretches from Vancouver to Seattle and Portland.
To listen to Glaeser, then, infrastructure investment in Buffalo is doomed;
according to Florida, by contrast, it’s desperately needed, especially when
it comes to rail links across the Canada-US border, and much more efficient
border crossings in both directions.
Incidentally, this exchange between Florida and Glaeser, if exchange it is,
is quite bloggish. Florida recently moved
to Toronto from GMU, the epicenter of econoblogging; Florida has a blog
of his own; and Tyler Cowen and I both reckon that Glaeser
is blogging, too. Blogs don’t need to be full of very short entries and
updated multiple times a day!