By Diana Zelikman, Fueled
When it comes to the tech industry, a lot can be said about how well it boosts jobs and contributes to communities. But what about making a major difference to a city’s economy?
We looked at three cities that were saved by the investments made in technology – investments that changed the way some cities operated and how they are now perceived. The three cities below are prime examples of how technology, when used in the right way, can make a huge difference.
In a recent report commissioned by Bloomberg Philanthropies, New York City was able to “outperform the national economy” and stave off the worst of the financial crisis in 2008.
The report states that the tech and information industry was responsible for a third of the jobs that have been created since 2007.
This report is important because it predicted that New York City would be one of the worst regions to be hit by the global financial crisis. It said that a deep recession would hit and that NYC would experience a weaker recovery in comparison with the national economy. This was obviously not the case, with NYC actually outperforming the national economy significantly.
As the tech industry continues to grow, with Brooklyn outpacing other tech hubs such as Austin, Seattle, and Silicon Valley.
This city has seen it’s fair share of despair, with over three decades of being run into the ground. But now, Pittsburgh is making a comeback and robots are the reason.
In 1983, the city had an unemployment rate of 17.1 per cent and was losing over 4,000 people per month. The steel industry, which was responsible for building and funding Pittsburgh, was faltering.
At the same time, over at Carnegie Mellon University, a former marine called Red Whittaker was leading a program called the Three Mile Island robotics team. They were responsible for the creation of the hugely successful “Remote Reconnaissance Vehicle.” The groundbreaking technology that they created set off a three-decade cycle of technology innovation, with large investments and expansion that lead to Whittaker and his protégés becoming the leaders of the new field of robotics.
Pittsburgh, or “Roboburgh,” is back on the map and featured on lists like “the Hottest Cities of the Future.” Population growth hasn’t been like this since the 1950s, all thanks to a little bit of technology.
Although Detroit is completely bankrupt right now, it’s starting to make a comeback thanks to the large community of tech entrepreneurs flooding the start-up market there.
In July 2013, Detroit was the largest city to have filed for a Chapter 9 bankruptcy, with some estimates stating that the city owed close to $20 billion.
This hasn’t stopped people from moving into the new apartment and business buildings that are opening up all over the place with places for rent. And what’s the hub for all of these start-ups? The M@dison Building. There are dozens of tech startups housed in this building, hosting a mix of 300 entrepreneurs, developers and investors, including Twitter.
The tech industry is doing so well that some of these startups have moved out of the M@dison Building into other parts of the city, further boosting the city’s economy and increasing job opportunities.
Tech talent is abound in the city, with some start-ups, such as Stik, even moving from San Francisco to Detroit because of its growing tech prestige.
While the city is far from being okay, it is on it’s way back and thanks, in large part, to the thriving technology industry that is pulling it out of the brinks of despair.