Monday, April 23, 2012


“Build it and they will come.” That famous line, inspired by the movie Field of Dreams was a source of inspiration for builders everywhere. The efforts of an Iowa farmer who turns a cornfield into a ballpark that attracts the ghosts of Shoeless Joe Jackson and other players banned in the 1919 Black Sox Scandal. The 1989 movie uses the cornfield ballpark as a metaphor for doing something you believe in and sticking with it as an act of faith.

Maybe some of the well documented greed, hubris and sometimes criminal profits of the last few decades naturally lead us to our current state-of-mind. Development, without faith in individual projects and confidence in general, results in an unwillingness to make bold moves and invest in the future. Innovative thinking is missing. Architecture, engineering, construction, real estate and development can only prosper in an environment where investment is fueled by at least a moderate feeling of confidence. The uncertainty implied by The Conference Board which tries to measure consumer confidence with regularly tracking of attitudes reflected in how people respond to their overall opinion of the near term economic future has been discouraging.

At the risk of stating the obvious: We need confidence. The global economy will rebound and stabilize. We need to be thinking about the future again. We need to find the enthusiasm that once seemed to be everywhere. Of course, Rome wasn’t built in a day and a Journey of a Thousand Miles… Eventually some smart visionary leaders will take the first steps toward the future we’ll all build together. I hope the people with that courage are rewarded and we all emerge stronger and better and end up with beautiful aesthetic, green, reliable and sustainable structures.

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