Syracuseâ??s civic distinctions called â??embarrassingâ?? in Forbes article

An article on calls Syracuseâ??s civic distinctions â??embarrassing.â??

The author, Carl Schramm, is a Syracuse native and current Syracuse University professor.

Schramm argues that â??Syracuseâ??s decline is undeniable,â?? but says the economy can be improved by investing locally.

He says Syracuse was one of the countyâ??s 50 biggest and wealthiest cities for more than 100 years, with â??one of the best-educated and healthiest populations.â?? Now, Schramm says, â??Syracuseâ??s civic distinctions are embarrassingâ?? and the â??cityâ??s economy no longer works.â??

Syracuse is the nationâ??s 170th largest city and one of the fastest shrinking cities, according to Schramm. He points calls â??povertyâ?? the â??cityâ??s overwhelming social characteristic.â??

Schramm argues that â??no one seems to remember when Syracuseâ??s people, their innovations and their creative entrepreneurial skills, made it one of the most successful cities in the nation.â??

Schramm says Syracuseâ??s contributions to â??American life during the period of industrializationâ?? were plentiful. He points to Lyman C. Smith who helped bring the typewriter to the forefront and whose namesake is attached to the Lyman C. Smith College of Applied Science at Syracuse University.

Syracuse has been known as the â??Typewriter city,â?? â??Candle city,â?? â??Crafts city,â?? â??China city,â?? â??Gear city,â?? and the â??Radar cityâ?? for its many inventions and manufacturing accomplishments over the years. All that is left to remind us of these successes, Schramm says, is the Carrier Dome.

â??A careful study of urban economics suggests that a city that forgets its innovative history risks providing no role models for subsequent generations,â?? writes Schramm.

He says the challenge in reshaping Syracuseâ??s economic culture is encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship from the people who live locally instead of relying on government funds to spark economic growth.

Read the full article on

In recent weeks, officials have made a few announcements about plans to help the local economy and there may be hope for two longtime vacant downtown buildings.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced legislation last week, called "Made in America Manufacturing Act," that seeks to breathe new life into the Central New York economy, specifically that of the Mohawk Valley, by bolstering high-tech manufacturing in the region.

Local economic development officials also announced the formation of an alliance this week that hopes to make Central New York a test site for the development of unmanned aircraft systems. The alliance says it anticipates that unmanned aircraft systems could grow into an $89 billion industry employing 23,000 people by 2025.

Additionally, the NYNEX building, across the street from City Hall, that has been vacant since 1995, is beginning to grab the attention of developers. The crumbling Mizpah Tower in Columbus Circle may also have a potential buyer.

What do you think about Syracuse's economy? Do you think Syracuseâ??s civic distinctions are embarrassing?