John Kromer first read Paul Grogan's book, "Comeback Cities: A Blueprint for Urban Revival", when he was finishing his tenure as Philadelphia's Director of Office of Housing and Community Development. Mr. Grogan had led LISC, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, for thirteen years in the 1980s and 1990s and his book probed both the opportunities and difficulties associated with trying to revive America's aging industrial cities. He found reason for hope, from the success of community development corporations to declining crime rates to the deregulation of public systems like housing, welfare and public education. His book was an influential blueprint for those practitioners, like John Kromer, tasked with continuing the work.
How has Paul Grogan's "blueprint for urban revival" held up, ten years on?
In this interview, John Kromer asks Mr. Grogan to discuss the changed role of CDCs in 2010, the consequences of welfare reform, the blend of public and private intevestment supporting America's cities today, and much more.
[Audio recording available through the original article.]
Thanks to Chris Kingsley