Scenes from small-town America in the 21st century: Downtown shops are boarded up as Wal-Marts sprawl across the landscape. Factories close, lured to the next state by government handouts. Traffic jams snarl country roads. Yet, for every declining Hartford, CT there's a boomtown like Athens, GA. Why?
What is wrong with our communities? The problem, argue the authors of this visionary work, is not in our lack of civic pride but in the "triple threat" our towns and cities face: globalization, the chase for jobs and the challenge of sprawl. These forces-which we created with misguided policies-destroy not only local democracy, but America's long-term economic health.
Grounded in decades of research, Making a Place for Community offers brilliant solutions that defy conventional wisdom. Without busting the budget and halting development, the authors' smart new policies and grass-roots solutions, from land trusts to local ownership, show how to reign in sprawl and anchor jobs in the community.
Until we face the issues of decay and isolation at the local level, any attempts to "revitalize" downtown or restore "family values" are sure to fail. Making a Place for Community is a vivid blueprint for rebuilding the heart American life--its towns and cities.
An indispensable primer for the new century..