As the global recession of 2008 and beyond took hold of the American economy, smaller markets were disproportionately affected by job losses as well as the resultant brain drains, tax base reductions, diminished housing values, and diminishment of their overall quality of life. So it is not surprising that these smaller markets face unique challenges during recovery. The Economic Viability of Micropolitan America addresses the economic history and future of small cities and towns across the country, as they have and will continue to see dramatic shifts in the roles they play in the extant larger economies.
The book discusses the 300-year history of America’s economic structures in substantial detail and with an eye on the development and growth of, and the changes to, the economic geography of the United States. It explores the fate of the small cities and towns in America, examining how they emerged over time and their economic fate in the future. The author explores what constitutes a small city or town, who lives there, and how they support their families and their communities. He also explores what roles these communities can play in the larger economic picture. Is it possible that small cities and towns can offer enough in the way of assets and amenities to become economic hubs in the future? And if so, will that evolution create such growth that it will override and eliminate the very qualities from which they derived their initial appeal?
With nearly seventy case studies and interviews, the book examines the role of business within the future context of community settings. It distills lessons learned into a list of the most prominent and potentially effective tactics for other small cities and towns to emulate as they, too, seek to develop their local economic bases and ensure that their communities can survive and thrive in the twenty-first century.
Table of Contents
What Is a Small City/Town?
Economic History of American Cities and Towns
What We Know Now
Interviewing the Experts: Small City Leadership
Selecting the Micropolitan Cities for Inclusion in the Research
Economic Development Issues of America’s Micropolitan Cities
Issues by City
Cities by Issue
Seventy of America’s Micropolitan Communities Examined
What Has Been Learned?
Micropolitan Cities by Type
Metropolitan Micropolitan Cities in the Study
Hub Micropolitan Cities in the Study
Isolated Micropolitan Cities in the Study
Postscript: What’s Next?