Why are city assets shared by a region but not problems (and solutions)?

In most regions across the country, cultural assets are shared widely but problems aren’t. It’s a mindset we should try to change.

This perspective came up at an event I helped organize a couple months ago, and it’s still rattling around in my head as I try to work out its meaning.

It goes like this: your city’s baseball team, its ballet, its walkable downtown and other assets are shared regionally: people in the city, the suburbs and beyond all embrace them as their own. The problems — crime, traffic, poverty — are cast off as city issues. –I won’t live there because of those problems, but I’ll come in for the assets.

That’s shortsighted at best, hypocritical and selfish at worst.

Because of density, proximity, culture and more, cities will be our agents of change and attractants of success. If you want your suburban community to survive what could be a tough future, the best way to do that is to have the strongest central hub that will drive interest all around.

If we’re going to share the assets, shouldn’t we also share the problems (and work together to create the solutions)?