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Will Baton Rouge become a major city?

Mr. Burnham

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Definition of a "major" city is....?

Most people generally classify a major city based on the said cities adherence to the following criteria:


  • An International Airport or one at a capacity level of 5 million
  • 5 Skyscrapers at or above 300ft
  • A metro population of 1 or 2 million 
  • Presence of a large industry
  • A good presence of Fortune 500 companies (ranging from one to two at the lowest)
  • At least one large university or research facility
  • Political, economical, or cultural hub 
  • A large interstate infrastructure

That is a general list which of course has its own effects on a city, but for the most part these are the biggies that all if not most major cities adhere to. 


Going down the list for Baton Rouge this is pretty much my results:

  • No International Airport and the BTR only has a capacity of 1 million (guessing)
  • BR only has two
  • Baton Rouge is exactly 197, 611 people short of 1 million
  • Energy and film
  • CB&I and IBM in a few years, but no HQ's
  • LSU, Water Campus, Southern?
  • State Capitol, meh, NOLA is the culture capitol
  • It is okay, but not where it can or should be

In short I think Baton Rouge is close. A lot of these things start and end with population, you get a bigger airport if you have a larger population, you have more companies with a larger population (that normally gives you a more impressive skyline), with a larger population you either grow the universities or get more, more people = more culture, more people = more companies = increased economic importance. My message would be to fix the schools and attack the suburbs by knocking out all their pros (EX: better schools, better transportation, better commute, better neighborhoods). 


I guess the bigger question is will Baton Rouge be able to fix those problems and become a major city as a result.

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Hard to say...but not likely.


I consider BR maybe a mid-major city...or on the brink of a mid major city.


Another indicator for me...does the city have a Professional sports team?(excluding Green Bay WI lol)......and BR already proved it was not ready for a Pro team post-Katrina


BR does have the Pennington Biomedical Research Center...there is a Topic here on UP buried on the back pages

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In regards to the airport,  I would like to some day see a flights to New York,  Los Angeles, and Chicago...that'll probably be as international as we'll get. 


I think if St.  George is created we'll be able to hit the million marker in about 15 years. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think the highway network has to be updated and expanded to hit the 1.5-2 million MSA mark. We'd have to tap into to undeveloped land north of town while focusing on redeveloping mid city and north BR....instead of just sprawling in two directions.

Basically, we need highways connecting the job centers to the residential markets in northern Livingston, the Felicianas, etc. while working diligently to improve the appeal of the city core for residential.

That would take care of the supply side.

The demand side requires easy and affordable access to a number of good public school districts, low taxes, and an attractive politicial environment for white collar employers and a growing industrial base.

New Orleans fights tooth and nail to keep Baton Rouge infighting strong. They'd never allow a loop or a major effort to send money into Baton Rouge so long as they have the power. This is how capital area is shut out of the union designation and by extension the film industry expansions as of late. Politically, Baton Rouge needs to operate as one cohesive delegation in the state legislature to overcome this kind of nonsense.

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