From The Atlantic — Nice Downtowns: How Did They Get That Way? "It wasn't easy"
JAMES FALLOWS I had anticipated some of the rewards and discoveries of visiting cities in the process of economic and cultural recovery and re-invention. An unexpected reward has been the chance to get a time-capsule view, a kind of real-life time-line diorama, of how the downtown areas of cities look through all the stages of a decline-and-rise cycle. The declining phase includes hollowing-out and pawn-shop-dominated decay. Then there is spotty and tentative improvement. Finally, if all goes well, full-scale health through a combination of stores, restaurants, theaters, downtown condos, and all the other elements of a region that attracts commercial and human activity through most hours of the night and day. Read more: Nice Downtowns: How Did They Get That Way? — The Atlantic