A Look Back At The Small Town Urban Renewal Template

This article takes a look back at the small-town urban renewal success of Newburyport, Massachusetts, and its long-lasting effects.

"Newburyport's downtown revival of the 1960s, '70s and '80s left an indelible mark. It made the city a national model for preservation. It restored a dying downtown."

"And it caused enormous social changes that have stretched over 30 years and counting."

"Newburyport wasn't the first to shun the 'federal bulldozer,' the pejorative name for the urban renewal practice of tearing down the core of old cities and rebuilding them."

"But by the mid-1970s, its story was so compelling, its turnaround so quick and its physical attractiveness so becoming, it became the poster child for success - even though it hadn't entirely succeeded."

"Against a national backdrop in which America was struggling to revive its inner cities, Newburyport's successes were widely applauded. The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor and many other newspapers trumpeted the spirit of renewal and restored charm. Typical of the headlines was one from the Lowell Sun: 'Newburyport: A City that Came Back.'"

Full Story: A city’s ‘character’ changed for good


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