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Andrea Lindenberg imagines her daughter’s future

May 7, 2009

When I was asked a few weeks ago to share my thoughts on Birmingham in 50 years, I agreed. Then, panic set in. Thoughts went through my mind like, “I’m not creative enough for this request. I’m not a visionary. I do my job on Red Mountain, mostly talking about things in our community that we’d like to fix, then I go home.” I was NEVER a person who had a great answer when my employer asked, “Where do you see yourself in five years, Andrea?” (um…here? Employed?!) But I digress.

To look forward 50 years, I have to reflect back on my 40 plus years here as a Birmingham native. As a child, my parents took me downtown for everything: to see Santa, Vulcan, random celebrities staying at the Parliament House, to shop, to watch shiny high rises go up and to watch historic buildings come down. My dad is a retired structural engineer who still shakes his head at the thought of the Birmingham Terminal Station demolition in 1969. I developed a deep love for Birmingham because of the trees, the people, its value in history and even for our “metropolitan identity crisis” shortly after Atlanta landed Delta’s HQ in the mid-‘70s.

The answer to my hopes for our future flowed freely when my 10-year-old daughter and I randomly decided to go to the Magic City Art Connection. On our drive to Linn Park, we wove through the streets for a brief history lesson. What I want for her when she is 60 is to be able to tell HER children how far Birmingham has come since SHE was a child in the 2000s.

I imagine:
* increased cooperation between Birmingham metro municipalities
* high-speed rail between here and Atlanta
* a highly-developed public transportation system that people really use to commute
* the continued flow of people moving back downtown, with a city center that offers shopping, restaurants and entertainment on a level hard to imagine right now in this economy
* an education system fueled with more parental involvement; one that makes headlines in national news
* a pride in an evolved downtown district that is as contagious as the pride we now see in places like Chattanooga, where they’ve “dusted off the streets” and developed a city center to attract tourists from across the Southeast
* a national reputation as a hotbed for music, art and creative, forward thinking people (we are getting there, right)
* people walking around downtown on Sunday afternoon because the city is “open for business.” It’s a beautiful walk, but it’s a bit lonely if you do it now.
* dare I say, television stations teaming up as ONE for community projects, much like NBC13, CBS 42 & ABC 33/40 did for “Stand Up To Cancer.” I may be pushing the envelope on THAT one (smile)
* even more pockets of beauty within the park system
* tolerance, understanding, acceptance as we continue our Civil Rights evolution
* and, lastly, no sewer debt

I’m blessed to live in a neighborhood in unincorporated Shelby County near two HUGE parks which are community bonding sites for ball games, art festivals, etc. I’m just down the street from my kids’ schools. I buy groceries less than a mile from my house. Even my eye doctor and favorite Mexican restaurant are almost in my backyard. In 50 years, I hope that sort of lifestyle piggy-backs with Birmingham’s rich history and progress so families are more inclined to inhabit my hometown. How do we get there? Hey, I’m just a news anchor who doesn’t know where she will be in five years!

Join us May 11 at our annual meeting and share what YOU imagine for our future.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. May 8, 2009 10:36 pm

    I like the fact that you live in Shelby County but care what happens to Birmingham’s city center. We are all affected by what happens to each other.

  2. October 27, 2010 4:18 pm

    my mom is an eye doctor and she always tell me to never squint my eyes and watch too much dvd movie;,:

  3. November 14, 2010 2:35 pm

    eye doctors are specially helpful whenever you have some eye problems “,

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