Fifteen years ago this month, M&C ran a cover story on how “urban ills” affected the
meetings industry. Convention and visitor bureau executives from
Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles and New York City responded to
criticisms of unsafe or unsightly downtowns.
Today, crime in these cities is down --
way down. In Atlanta, violent crime has dropped by more than 50
percent, setting a 33-year low in 2005. Detroit changed its crime
reporting methodology in 2005, but over the decade ending in 2004,
the city experienced a 40 percent decrease in major crime
categories. In 2007, Los Angeles recorded the fewest serious
violent and property crimes since 1963. In New York City, between
1993 and 2006, violent and property crime each dropped by 66
Mark Vaughan, executive vice president
of the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau, points to the 1996
Olympics as a catalyst for change downtown. The convention corridor
now is “one of the safest places in the region,” he says.