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City Scripts Public Forum – Good Company: Micron and the Shape of Growth

April 24, 2024 at 5:00pm7:30pm EDT

Cicero Fire House, Station 1, 8377 Brewerton Road Cicero, NY 13039

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A next generation of the 19th-century company has arrived in the form of mega-companies in need of labor, land and natural resources who have the power to alter the economies, urban landscapes and infrastructures of the cities and regions where they locate. Recently, Ford in Tennessee, Facebook in California and Tesla in Texas have established themselves in mid-size cities, or built their own. In our region are corporations—first Amazon, now Micron—whose impact will far exceed that of their 19th-century precursors such as Corning and Cohoes.

State and local government welcome large companies, and even compete for the investment and promised jobs, economic windfall and population growth they can bring. Our municipalities offer tax forgiveness, zoning exemption, property, additional infrastructure and cultural amenities in hope of long-term benefit. Yet to reap those gains requires comprehensive long-term planning that is difficult for governments to frame and implement in the context of free-market capitalism. We trust that the private sector will meet housing demand without due consideration of potential unintended consequences, but unregulated development, unsustainable sprawl, environmental impact, stress on existing physical and social infrastructures and the consequent demise of regional character are at stake.

The goals of this forum are to build on the growth principles of the Plan ONondaga that implicitly acknowledge the arrival of Micron but do not have the force of law and do not speak directly to any one municipality’s needs.

How will municipalities plan for growth and shape their goals in the context of this plan? How should county and state governments support and coordinate their visions? As Micron plans its new investment in Onondaga County, what are its responsibilities to surrounding towns and their inevitable growth? What do we need to ask of arriving corporations and of governments to assure that the promise of the Good Company is fulfilled?


  • Frederick S. Harris
    Executive Vice President, Multifamily Development, Vornado Realty Trust
  • Andrew Herod
    Distinguished Professor of Geography, University of Georgia; John Simon
    Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow
  • Tod Rutherford
    Professor of Geography and the Environment, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs; Senior Research Associate, Program for the Advancement of Research on Conflict and Collaboration


  • Rachel May, New York State Senate, 48th District
  • Ryan McMahon, Onondaga County Executive
  • Sharon Owens, Deputy Mayor, City of Syracuse
  • Al Stirpe, NYS Assemblyman, 127th District

City Scripts is a partnership between the School of Architecture and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. The partners hope their collaboration will help to ensure that inclusive policy and design are at the forefront of challenges facing cities in the United States and around the world. The goal of the City Scripts symposia is to create an ongoing, interdisciplinary and applied dialogue that reaches beyond the university and influences both policy and design.

The “Good Company: Micron and the Shape of Growth” forum is supported by the Syracuse University Collaboration for Unprecedented Success and Excellence (CUSE) grant program, the Campbell Public Affairs Institute at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, the School of Architecture, the office of NYS Assemblyman Al Stirpe, the Cicero Firehouse, and the School of Architecture Pratt Institute. It is organized by School of Architecture Associate Professors Elizabeth Kamell and Lawrence Davis, and Maxwell School Professor Grant Reeher, director of the Campbell Public Affairs Institute.

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This event was first published on March 22, 2024 and last updated on April 16, 2024.

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