Utilize Existing Assets, Rather than Mega-Projects, to Revive America's Legacy Cities

A new report from the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy examines American cities suffering significant population losses, and concludes that investing in existing assets such as historic areas and transit systems offers the best path to prosperity.

"Many of America's legacy cities -- older industrial metropolitan areas facing manufacturing decline and population loss -- have had a difficult time bouncing back." says the Lincoln Institute's At Lincoln House blog. "But the key to revitalization for Baltimore, St. Louis, Camden, N.J., Youngstown, Ohio or Flint, Michigan, is to take stock of the assets right at their doorstep, such as downtowns, parks, transit systems, and academic and cultural institutions."

"That's the message of Regenerating America’s Legacy Cities [free download], an analysis of 18 cities by Alan Mallach and Lavea Brachman, who advocate step-by-step 'strategic incrementalism' as a path to economic development, rather than the silver-bullet approach of signature architecture, a sports stadium or other megaprojects."

“'Intentional strategies are needed to unlock the potential of a city’s assets to bring about sustainable regeneration,' the authors write. Making progress 'begins with leaders sharing a vision of the city’s future and then making incremental, tactical decisions that
 will transform the status quo, while avoiding grandiose and unrealistic plans.'”

Full Story: Regenerating America's Legacy Cities

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