This week, the Richmond Times Dispatch held its 61st Public Square, and the topic this month was Richmond’s Future.
The presentations and discussions dealt with a study that was conducted over the past five years by Richmond’s Future, an independent think tank, founded by VCU President Emeritus Eugene Trani, which studies Richmond’s future and ways to make Richmond a world class region. The study covered regional trends, comparatives to other cities of similar sizes and most importantly, the opportunities for the future.
There were two important presentations delivered by Bob Holsworth, the director of research for Richmond’s Future, and John W. Martin, the president of the Southeastern Institute of Research. The topics included: how to retain and attract millennials, regional transportation, education, workforce development, our growing senior population, race relations, opportunities to be the country’s logistics leader, the explosion of population by 2030 and 2040, the continuing wealth gap between rich, middle class and the poor and much more.
The good news is, the report points us to the gold at the end of the rainbow. If we take action. It’s a win - win for everyone.
My major takeaway from the meeting was that if the Richmond region does not collectively and seriously take action to continue to be a world class region, we will cede that position to other destinations by 2030. Please take the time to read this and the other studies that have been done.