Saturday, January 15, 2011

Queensland floods: opportunity as opposed to disaster?

Adversity breeds opportunity.

Many cities became great cities because of adversity. Two such cities come to mind; Chicago and San Francisco.

In 1906, San Francisco suffered an earthquake and combined with the resultant fires (from the earthquakes). This natural disaster caused the greatest loss of life in Californian history, with other 3,000 deaths with an economic impact comparable to that of Hurricane Katrina. One commentator described the tragic event as follows:

Not in history has a modern imperial city been so completely destroyed. San Francisco is gone.

In 1871, a fire burned through the entire Chicago central business district causing widespread destruction from October 8 to October 10. The fact that only a handful of buildings survived the fire is symbolic of the degree of devastation that engulfed the city.

Both Chicago and San Francisco regrouped and rebuilt themselves promptly into better and more modern cities.  In fact, the rebuilding in Chicago almost immediately spurred Chicago's development into one of the most populous and economically important American cities. 

Thus the Queensland floods, while tragic, could be a great opportunity to create a better and more attractive State. What is needed is community spirit and the vision to take Queensland to greater places in the new decade.  

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