Tallahassee’s New Day Dawning
Brien R. Sörne
July 23, 2015
Every day I talk with people across town, across the region and across the country who say “something is happening in Tallahassee” or “Tallahassee is emerging and finding a new place in the world”. Talking with a group of business people earlier this evening, I heard more of the same. Realtors, web developers, bankers, business owners… they all talked about the resurgence and the redefinition of Tallahassee’s cultural and economic landscape.
I agree and I think some of this is by design, some by desire, and some by disappointment. Many of us who have been pursuing business opportunities for a number of years have been disappointed and even discouraged by old rules and old concepts of how decisions are to be made and who is granted access to the decision-making process. Mostly, the decisions about how land is to be used, how funding is to be granted, how contracts are to be awarded and whether businesses, universities and municipalities can cooperate toward mutual gain have been reserved for a few conclaves of privileged individuals. In the last ten years, there has been a growing desire to change these rules and explore newer concepts of community and economic development. Organizations like KCCI, Leadership Tallahassee, Town & Gown and NEBA have come online with fresh vision and resolve. The results have been remarkable.
Cascades Park and the revitalization of Gaines Street and the All Saints District are examples of designed rediscovery and redefinition. The development of these common access areas speaks to the valuing of our community-at-large rather than gated communities for a few. Likewise, the design of the Tallahassee Music Week, Tally Fiesta, the Tallahassee Sand Festival and Word of South Festival underscore our cultural common ground over the interests of a private organization like Spring Time Tallahassee. A new day is here and ready for each of us to consider how we will live it. Carpe Diem.