Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Twitter-er's Response To Significant Changes In SFG And NWA In The Last Decade

It started with this tweet by Chad Livengood a few days before Christmas:

Springfield & #SWMO residents: What do you think are the biggest changes that have occurred in the city & region during this decade? #SGF
I read and it started to write down some things and got distracted.

Then, this evening, while mapping the blogosphere, I stumbled upon this twitter-er (or is it tweeter) who took the time to respond to Livengood's request and twittered these tweets. Or is it tweeted these twitters?

1. public improvements like completion of US65 past state line. another big public improvement is US 71 from JLN to ROG and imps through eastern JLN. I would include improvements to 412 and around HRO to that list.

2. Dramatic growth of Hispanic population necessitating Spanish language accomodation in the region. Another is the 'internationalization of SGF/SWMO & NWA. There are 31 languages spoken in SGF Central High, there is a Russian community, a Polish community, a French community, Koreans, etc in Branson, Joplin etc. we saw some of this in the 90s, and while we have had Vietnamese, Germans, & Koreans for decades, the multiplicity is new and while many Hispanics went home w/declines in employment in building trades after the collapse of construction industry, Hispanic & other romantics have grown in NWA to the point that it is on the verge of shifts in politics/spirituality

3. The consolidation of right wing political influence north of AR-MO line in a closed group.

4. The acceleration of urban sprawl in SGF and ASG/ROG/FYV areas and the realization among leaders that the two MSAs are eventually going to grow together into an LA sized metroplex. Of course that realization is only among a select few. Most visible political leaders are oblivious of most issues. the urban sprawl is partly a consequence of fragmented & provencial leadership (economic/social as well as political). The urban sprawl is stressing the water/wastewater resources w/effects that wont be realized until next decade.

5. The topic of political battles in this region in the next two decades won't be abortion or healthcare, it's gonna be water resources/water rights, pollution, planning, etc w/roots of problems in failures in 200Xs.

6. Another change not noticed, but which will become important in the next couple of decades . . will be the competition between SFG/SWMO and NWA/ASG-FYV-XNA-ROG areas to dominate the upper WRV/plateau which also will have its roots in the population growth and urban sprawl of this decade.

7. The downtown CBDs of both SGF and FYV were heavily 'gentrified' in this decade, though FYV was done much better. I would include JLN in that, particularly the 500 block of Main, though not as well as SGF South Street

8. Another big social change, the rise of the Willow Creek-style megachurches (eg James River Assy., Pinnacle Hills, etc) . which transcends traditional church heirarchies and have affected the sociology of the region. with roots in the 1990s, but with the sociological effects becoming apparent in this decade.

9. (a biggie, but not well known) the accumulation of international-grade fortunes & a surrounding community of mini-fortunes infact, if you consider NWA & SGF/SWMO as a future metroplex, our corporate class rivals that of Seattle, SFBay, Cincinatti, Houston, Omaha, Austin, etc. Waltons/Tysons of NWA, the SGF cabal, the Table Rock colony. people know about Bentonville, but are generally unaware of the disproportionate number of megarich in NWA/SWMO. What has changed in this decade is that the world is beginning to recognize SGF/ROG as home to super rich, it is still something of an unknown secret to people in this area.

Pretty insightful and lots of food for thought.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How about a hint as to the identity of this perceptive person? He/She seems worth following. Very astute observations.