Dear Wisconsin Joint Finance Committee Members:
An aerotropolis is a newer urban development that typically attracts industries that are located around the airport and along transportation corridors, such as:
- Time-sensitive manufacturing, e-commerce fulfillment, telecommunications and logistics.
- Hotels, retail outlets, entertainment complexes and exhibition centers.
- Offices for business people who travel frequently: by air or engage in global commerce.
An aerotropolis provides efficient accessibilities for people, and has an integrated infrastructure plan.
In Milwaukee's case, an aerotropolis will prov1ide an efficient multimodal- air, boats, trains and motor vehicles - transportation hub centered around General Mitchell International Airport and The Port of Milwaukee that will efficiently serve southeastern Wisconsin plus extended territories in northern Illinois, central and eastern Wisconsin.
Earlier this week, a number of people involved with Milwaukee Gateway Aerotropolis Corporation, which is led by The Gateway To Milwaukee, attended the Airport Cities World Conference in Memphis, Tenn. Over 630 people from 40 countries across six continents attended this conference. It was easy to see that this is all about economic competition among metropolises and ultimately about having good jobs for an area to be economically successful.
Virtually every presentation of aerotropolis efforts around the world and in the U.S. included the important necessity of having a mass transit system to efficiently move people for a variety of reasons and especially for work. Without such a system, an aerotropolis would be much less effective and more challenged to attract businesses to locate there. It is the way people will live in the future as urban areas continue to grow.
The U.S. is behind the rest of the world in the aerotropolis concept and further, Milwaukee and Wisconsin are behind other U.S. metropolitan areas in even having mass transit be available. And we have been going backwards and getting smaller.
The proposed budget for 2011-2013 further reduces funds available for mass transit in Wisconsin. If passed as proposed, it will simply leave us more behind and challenged to catch up. Businesses and people will choose to live elsewhere where transportation choices are more flexible and efficient.
Please evaluate the proposed cuts on transit and look to support economic development.
Executive director, The Gateway To Milwaukee