Executive Summary

Lessons from the Past for Urban Policy in the Era of Trump

The stunning election of Donald Trump as president throws the future of urban policy into doubt. During the campaign he promised to bring new jobs and improved infrastructure to the inner cities, but so far he has furnished no details. Some of the strategies carried out by cities and states in the past may offer the incoming administration some guidance.



First Step in Revitalizing Legacy Cities: Stop Digging the Hole Deeper (Part I)

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Its no secret in economic development that some cities are in deep, deep trouble. Detroit made the headlines in recent months but we all know that many Great Lakes big cities--older manufacturing centers have very serious issues.  In the literature these cities are politely and correctly called "legacy cities". How to turn these legacy cities around is one of the two or three most pressing issues in the profession. Recently, the Lincoln Institute issued a report, based on several years of research and analysis by its authors. The thinking behind this report is the best summary of contemporary "conventional wisdom" regarding legacy city revitalization. Let's dig into it--warning the Curmudgeon, with all the respect in the world to its authors, will challenge a major "plank" in contemporary conventional wisdom. In two weeks or so the Curmudgeon will publish Part II in which he will discuss how a city stops digging and begins to turn itself around.   Continue Reading...