Stroke Recovery, City Recovery

Two years ago, Steve Patterson suffered a stroke. As he goes through the process of recovery, he sees some lessons for struggling cities.
February 3, 2010, 9am PST | Nate Berg
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St. Louis and other cities have suffered similar "hemorrhaging" of people in recent decades. As a result, the jobs economy has dried up and limited the city's ability to develop -- not unlike a stroke-paralyzed body that is struggling to regain its motion and ability.

"Cities have been in the same situation, a stroke of massive population job losses. This lost left cities unable to function as they had before. But our therapy for cities has been hoping they'd regain lost function. As I know function does return. I can walk again but I can't run, skip or ride a bike - yet.

Cities need to start with the basics, one step at a time. Cities need to examine what no longer works and what can come back first. In stroke therapy they leg returns before the arm. Fingers come back very late. I can barely move my left ankle and I still can't move my toes on my left foot. Cities, I think, have been trying to move their big toe rather than get their leg back first."

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Published on Monday, February 1, 2010 in Urban Review STL
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