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RENEWLV Local Concerns

Easton, PA Fountain
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Stagnant Job/Employment Growth: The LV lacks employment opportunities to attract and retain young professionals in the area. By the year 2000, 17.6% of Lehigh Valley residents commuted to jobs in areas outside of the Lehigh Valley like New York and New Jersey while 55.7% of residents were employed in suburban areas outside of the central cities.

Loss of Young Professionals: Between 1995 - 2000 PA experienced a troubling loss of population. Specifically, the Northeast region lost over four percent or a total of 11,310 potential young workers between the ages of 25 - 34 while the State of PA lost the most young workers altogether than any other state in the US.

Government Fragmentation/Inefficiency: The Lehigh Valley is stagnated by the number of operational government facilities in Lehigh, Northampton and Carbon Counties - about 14 institutions per 100,000 people compared to a national norm of 6.1 per 100,000 people. "This fragmentation complicates coordination, exacerbates unbalanced growth patterns, and undercuts the region's ability to compete economically."

Service Fragmentation: Population shifts have resulted in tremendous growth in outlying areas, with concomitant need for services. At the same time, the older boroughs and cities are seeing essentially no growth in population, often coupled with a declining industrial and commercial base, leaving many of them with unused water and wastewater capacity. The redundancy of multiple service efforts leads to uncoordinated and often economically inefficient service delivery to Lehigh Valley Residents. Regionalized approaches to service delivery could result in major economic savings, more coordinated and organized service delivery and an increase in service quality. Areas for improvement include Water/Wastewater, Police Services and Fire/Ambulatory Services.

Uncoordinated/Poor Land Use Planning:

  • Loss of Open Space/Farmland - The Lehigh Valley lost more farmland in the 1990's than any other large metropolitan area in the United States.
  • Decline of Urban Core - PA continues to lose residents in established, urban areas to outer, suburban land developments. Between 1990 - 2000 PA cities lost 4.8% of its residents while 2nd class townships or rural areas gained 11.8% residency. "... [In the] Lehigh Valley area, outer townships dominated overall population growth while the older areas grew modestly." This trend can have extreme consequences on the vitality and growth of PA's economic core, our cities.
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RenewLV.org photo contributors: Timothy Miller, Hub Wilson, Wesley Works, and Joyce Marin.