Economic Revitalization is unique in that it discusses leading revitalization strategies in the context of both city and suburban settings, offering case studies of program development and implementation.
In Economic Revitalization: Cases and Strategies for City and Suburb Fitzgerald and Leigh answer the need for a text that incorporates social justice and sustainability into how we think about and practice economic development. It is one of the first to talk about how revitalization strategies are implemented in both cities and suburbs, particularly inner-ring suburbs that are experiencing decline previously associated only with inner-city neighborhoods. After setting the context with a brief history of economic development practice and its shortcomings, Fitzgerald and Leigh focus on six economic development strategies: sectoral strategies, Brownfield redevelopment, industrial retention, commercial revitalization, industrial and office property reuse, and workforce development. Each of these chapters begins with an overview of the strategy and then presents cases of how it is being implemented. The cases draw from Atlanta, Chicago and its suburbs, Emeryville, Kalamazoo, Louisville, New Haven, Portland, Sandy Springs, and Seattle (and suburban King County). They illustrate the tradeoffs often made in achieving one goal at the expense of another. Although they admit that some of the cases come up short in illustrating a more equitable and sustainable economic development practice, Fitzgerald and Leigh conclude with an optimistic view that the field is changing.
The book is aimed at students and practitioners of economic development planning who seek to foster stronger economies and greater opportunity in inner cites and older suburbs. It is also meant to assist planners in thriving new towns and suburban communities seeking to avoid future economic decline as their communities mature.
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