The third in a Bridge series on the Blueprint Binghamton draft of the comprehensive plan. The first mini-plan in the draft Comprehensive Plan is about economic development, which is what more community members said was the most important issue—jobs, jobs, jobs! One of the things that the consultants to the Blueprint were able to do is look at what opportunities exist for Binghamton.
One is location–we are the intersection of three major interstates and three freight railways. Along that intersection, there is an area called “Brownfield Opportunity Area” or “BOA.” Brownfields are industrial lands that have been polluted and are eligible for development. This land along the Brandywine Highway could be the source for job growth. Creating an “Industrial Protection Zone” would gradually encourage the area as industrial with no patches of commercial or residential in between.
Another recommendation that will resonate on First Fridays is: Utilize the arts and heritage tourism to help spur economic development. Yes, let’s make Binghamton a destination for arts and culture more than on the first Friday of the month. Another point is to leverage local institutions like universities and hospitals for local jobs that service these institutions or pop up as a result of their activities.