Drinking The 'Downtown Revitalization' Kool-Aid

Boosters like to sell downtown revitalization as crucial to a region's economic interest -- but for most cities, that's rarely the case.

In his final column for a Phoenix paper, Tom Gibbons writes:

"The two occupations with the biggest boosters for subsidizing back-to-the-future downtown revitalization are university faculty and business journalists.

Then there's me. Despite having taught college classes and, for the past five years, toiling as business editor here, I just haven't gotten with the program."

"I have nothing against downtowns, or sports venues or arts centers or bio-tech. I think they add something to a city or a region. But let's not pretend that money we spend on these ventures will all come back to us with interest added. These subsidies are expenses, not investments. "

Full Story: A farewell rant about downtown revitalization efforts


Brand new! Urban Grid City Collection

Each city has its own unique story. Commemorate where you came from or where you want to go.
Grids and Guide Red book cover

Grids & Guides

A notebook for visual thinkers. Available in red and black.
Book cover of Unsprawl

Unsprawl: Remixing Spaces as Places

Explore visionary, controversial and ultimately successful strategies for building people-centered places.
Starting at $12.95
Melissa and Doug Town Blocks Wooden Play Set

Block play meets role play

New! Town block set from Melissa and Doug Toys