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Robert Trigaux

Futurist Joel Kotkin targets gulf coast economy that includes Tampa Bay as rising economic powerhouse



joel-kotkin-2011-web.jpg"While the other two coasts struggle with economic stagnation and dysfunctional politics, the Third Coast -- the urbanized, broadly coastal region spanning the Gulf from Brownsville, Texas, to greater Tampa -- is emerging as a center of industry, innovation and economic growth." 

Wake up and good morning. Leave it to famed trend watcher and futurist Joel Kotkin to offer a fresh geographic and economic appraisal of the gulf coast region stretching from Texas east to Tampa Bay as a rising powerhouse.

"Over the past decade, Texas and Florida have ranked first and second among the states in net domestic immigration, combining for a gain of roughly 2 million people. Together, Houston and Tampa have gained more than 1.5 million people over the course of the decade."

Kotkin's insights appear in an interesting piece this week headlined The Third Coast in City Journal, which is part of the Wall Street Journal. Here's a link to the complete story.

Kotkin's key point is that the gulf coast is gaining population and economic power as an energy center and international shipping and trade region best situated to take advantage of doing business with Latin America. Granted, Kotkin focuses on Houston as the rising star and America's next great city, but the context of the gulf coast region, which he cites as stretching east to Tampa Bay, suggests this metro area is part of a bigger geographic and economic trend.

The article is the latest of many reminders of how important the Port of Tampa and some of the nearby secondary ports are to the larger metro area. Especially as the search is under way to find a super-sharp successor to Port chief Richard Wainio.

Kotkin's written many books on urban and economic trends. His new book, The Next Hundred Million: American in 2050, suggests the United States will continue to be a powerhouse with 400 million (versus today's 300 million) population. But running counter to much of the "smart growth" scenarios in which future growth will be built on higher density cities and less sprawl, Kotkin says the next 100 million will spread themselves across a broader, smarter and more economically independent suburban landscape.

Got to love the futurists. Read this Kotkin piece for a different slice of where Tampa Bay may fit in the economic days ahead.

Photo courtesy of Joel Kotkin.

-- Robert Trigaux, Business Columnist, Tampa Bay Times



[Last modified: Friday, November 2, 2012 7:16am]


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