Pittsburgh and steel; Los Angeles and the movies — many American cities are defined by the industries that shape them. And while in Baltimore that may have once meant shipping and port activities, these days we’re a university city. And that’s not a bad thing at all.
In a recent survey, education expert Dr. Evan Dobelle quantified the economic impact that colleges and universities have on major metropolitan areas… and ranked the Baltimore area as the number three “metroversity” in the U.S. In other words, higher education is a huge economic force around these parts. Of course, there’s the impact of teaching and research, but consider also how the many Baltimore-area schools impact their communities through acting as community and business partners. And, according to Dobelle, students are a kind of “permanent tourist” in metroversity cities (like Baltimore), where they help boost economies that might otherwise suffer significant downturns.
The metroversity list (which is topped by Boston and Raleigh) just reinforces something that any Baltimorean who’s been paying attention already knows: that our universities (most prominently Johns Hopkins, but the others as well) have a big impact on our city.