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Thread: Laredo, Texas

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Laredo, Texas

    What are your thoughts on Laredo, Texas? What does the city lack, what will make it better?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Well, it is a smaller USA 'border' city, with a larger foreign city (Neuvo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico) located right across the river (that's one big honkin' flag that they've got there on the Mexican side!), with everything there being driven by the border gateways. Right now, Nuevo Laredo is being ripped to shreds by the ongoing Drug War (gangs and police fighting among each other for the 'rights' to access at those gateways), with that violence working its way into Laredo.

    Without the border crossing and the Drug War, I'd suspect that the Laredo/Neuvo Laredo area would be a very 'Waco-like' place, with its halfway location on the main route between two multi-million population metro areas (San Antonio, TX and Monterrey, NL).

    I's hate to say it, but with I-35 ending where it does, a couple of blocks north of the border crossing right in the city's heart, it could probably make good use of major highway upgrades (including a bypass/beltline) just to get all of that through traffic off of the clogged streets.

    That and also major revisions in the Drug War and, in the long run, an EU-style USA-Mexico customs union (or maybe even a complete USA annexation of Mexico? ) could be what is needed to make sense of the relatively unique geographic situation there.

    Mike

  3. #3
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    I've never been to Laredo, but my impression is that it would be a lot like a smaller version of El Paso; low-rise, predominantly Hispanic, once-booming maquiladora facilities with growth slowing in the face of Chinese imports, problems with colonias in outlying areas, a somewhat lively downtown filled with retailers catering to shoppers from Mexico, typical Texas-style suburban commercial development (frontage road strips, massive high-rise signs, billboard proliferation), more than its fair share of junkyards and great Mexican restaurants, low crime rate excepting gang violence and auto theft, friendly people, and maybe some snowbirds. Unlike El Paso, where you can get by on English, I'd expect that fluency in Spanish is almost a must if you're living there.

    What would make it better? IMHO, making it less Texan. I'm not talking about Texan culture, but rather elements of the built environment that are found in just about every Texas cities. That means the high-rise billboards, high-rise signs, generic architecture, and concrete. You can see how Texan El Paso still is, despite its remote location, by comparing it to Las Cruces, New Mexico just a half hour to the north; the built environment of the two cities couldn't be more different. El Paso looks like Odessa or Midland with mountains, or Bryan or Waco without trees. Could the same be said about Laredo? Is it just Amarillo only with less cowboys and warmer weather?

  4. #4
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Laredo is kind of isolated in Texas, so I think an I-35 continuation onto Brownsville-McAllen would help, but that's probably something you can't control and that may or may not be good for Laredo specifically.

    I think you maybe could promote your recreational offerings a little more. Laredo Entertainment Arena has done a good job, but maybe your parks and that lake could use some more promotion.

    Museums and unique architecture, something that can set Laredo off as different from another place are good as well. You gotta make people want to come there...just to visit or to live as well.

    And be sure to offer some kind of incentives so that companies will want to do business with (or do business in) Laredo.
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
    -Steven Tyler

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    Mar 2006
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    Laredo, Texas
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    Wow, these are great responses. I did not think i would get such great feedback, I can't believe you know Laredo pretty well. I agree with you all. Although Laredo has alot of rich history and great things see, its seems which just don't do enough to make those places shine. The arena is great and the parks here are really cool, but they lack many things. Also we have lots of beautiful places areas, and i know this because i constantly drive around the city and discover places I did not know existed. The problem is that they dont promote this beautiful areas, so know one knows of them. I dont know if people in charge of the city just don't know of these areas or they dont realize that these places could be really useful to the city.

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