After causing a stir 15 years ago with his frank -- if sometimes culturally insensitive -- assessment of the city of Richmond, Dr. James A. Crupi has returned to reassess the region, bringing Chesterfield, Hanover and Henrico into the picture.
The Texas-based consultant addresses the necessity of regional cooperation for transportation, education and economic development. He points out that trends such as retiring baby boomers and the impending leadership vacuum in business and government can either be handled as crises or opportunities.
Crupi waxes poetic about the city's sense of place as being unparalled, except in places like San Francisco and Charleston. He cautions, though, that it may end up looking more like Detroit if business and government leaders don't get it together -- and soon.
"The one word that characterizes the area is fragmentation," he writes. "When asked to describe the area's personality, 102 out of the 108 leaders said it was schizophrenic, shortsighted, and afraid to have a conversation with itself. The area is seen as one that follows and does not lead."
Crupi, hired by the Greater Richmond Chamber to revisit his first study of the region in 1992, has ruffled some feathers in the black community for his blunt characterization of the city's racial problems. He also doesn't disclose the identities of those he interviewed for the report, which can be read in full below.Crupi's PDF file.