Utica economic revival hinges on neighborhood, city and state teamwork

Mildred Warner, professor of City and Regional Planning at Cornell University, notes that fiscal stress in Upstate New York cities is compounded by the Great Recession, state mandates and declining state aid.

She discusses the results of a new research paper on the City of Utica that was presented at the recent “State of New York Cities” conference at Cornell University. The paper, “Utica: Refugees and Revitalization: Taking a Closer Look at Utica’s Fiscal Stress and Opportunities for Solutions,” advises that an economic recovery in Utica requires close coordination from the neighborhood level to the state level.

The Cornell conference also rolled out a study of public-sector pensions: “Myth or Reality? The State of Public Pensions in Upstate New York.”

NOTE: The full reports on the City of Utica and Upstate pensions can be downloaded here: https://cornell.box.com/UpstateCities

Warner says:

“Decades of fiscal stress in Utica have brought a range of strategies for the City’s recovery. In this post-recession economy, Utica’s municipal government and community members are approaching revitalization in different, and sometimes dissonant ways.

“A new Cornell report by Clint McManus and Nancy Sprehn contrasts the neighborhood entrepreneurship of Utica’s refugee population with the high tech strategies driven by tax abatements in the broader Utica region. The report makes the case for coordination among decision makers at the state, city and neighborhood levels.”