Žilvinas Šilėnas. Cities: mundane problems and simple solutions

Depopulation, economic reorientation, the development and failure of new cities are the daily realities of the world even in the USA which did not experience the shift from communism to capitalism. These realities are painful, but avoidable.

People want to earn more and live well. Decisions to change the place of residence are usually based on economic factors. What is it that Great Britain has to attract thousands of Lithuanians? Culture, climate or wages? Why Vilnius is virtually the only Lithuanian city of growing population? Because of the Old Town or its opportunities and salaries?

Why do people earn more or less in different places? Wages largely depend on the labour productivity and the productivity is mainly determined by the actual amount of capital invested. The relationship between the investment per capita and the average wage is evident, no matter if we compare countries or Lithuanian cities. Most importantly, the investment which boosts the production is the only investment which results in higher wages. The investment of EU money into town squares or parks creates a tidy environment, but does not increase wages.

Investment strategies frequently stress the importance of working with communities. Whether we like it or not, any misunderstanding between the neighbours may turn into a political issue these days. However, where the interests of two owners clash, the debate is unavoidable. The impression is that we lack agreement, communication and understanding of each other. Also, here lies another problem – the silent majority is overshadowed by a radical minority. How much investment has been already battered by politicising simple disputes?

Problems of Lithuania’s cities and towns are not unique and insoluble. People will stay, come and live in those cities in which they could earn. Investment in business and production is what ensures high wages and our trump here is favourable rules and the removal of bureaucratic obstacles.

Neighbour’s opinion is important and a civilised agreement is necessary, because a lack of dialogue and mutual understanding may result in complaints, litigation and a political show and this will only deepen our problems rather than solving them. Everything seems to be simple, so why we are not doing it?

The full article in Lithuanian is available at http://www.llri.lt/naujienos/ekonomine-politika/z-silenas-miestai-paprasti-neunikaliu-problemu-sprendimai/zilvinas-silenas