Downtowns: Revitalizing the Centers of Small Urban Communities


6″ x 9″, softcover, 312 pages, Routledge

SKU: CDOWN Categories: ,


Most of the material on revitalizating downtowns is based on the experiences of large urban centers. In Downtowns: Revitalizing the Centers of Small Urban Communities, Michael A. Burayidi and his colleagues seek to remedy that.

Through a mix of insightful case studies and analysis they focus on the unique development problems of downtowns in small urban communities. From the case studies, they draw a set of key principles that underscore successful downtown development efforts in small cities

Major sections of the book cover:

  • Principles of downtown development in small cities,

  • Urban design and infrastructure redevelopment,

  • Waterfront and brownfields redevelopment,

  • Retail and commercial redevelopment.

The book clearly shows that downtown revitalization works in small as well as in large cities, and that common principles apply.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Downtowns and Small City Development

Michael A. Burayidi

Part One: Principles of Downtown Revitalization and Four Case Studies

Downtown Development Principles for Small Cities

Kent Robertson

The Emergence of a Competitive Core: Bifurcation Dynamics in Billings, Montana

Mark D. Hardt

An Assessment of Downtown Revitalization in Five Small Wisconsin Communities

Michael A. Burayidi

Downtown Redevelopment in Selected Oregon Coastal Communities: Lessons from Practice

Jennifer R. Klebba, Mindee D. Garrett, Autumn L. Radle, and Bryan T. Downes

A Multifaceted Approach to Downtown Revitalization in Brandon, Canada

William R. Horne

Part Two: Urban Design and Infrastructure Redevelopment

Re-engaging the Public in the Art of Community Place-Making

Wendy McClure and Fred A. Hurand

Towards a Typology of Urban Design Problems and Solutions for Downtown Revitalization: Some Evidence From the Mayor’s Institute on City Design

Siddhartha Sen and Matthew J. Bell

Disaster Recovery in a Progressive City: Santa Cruz, California

Daniel J. Garr

Part Three: Waterfront and Brownfields Redevelopment

Waterfront Planning as a Strategic Incentive to Downtown Enhancement and Livability

Zenia Kotval and John R. Mullin

Brownfield Restoration and Waterfront Redevelopment in Wisconsin’s Fox Valley Cities

James R. Simmons

Part Four: Retail and Commercial Redevelopment of Downtowns

Managing the Growth of Retail Space: Retail Market Dynamics in Lawrence, Kansas

Kirk McClure

An Evaluation of Approaches to Downtown Economic Revitalization

Norman Walzer and Steven Kline

Does Size Matter? Successful Economic Development Strategies of Small Cities

Akhlaque Haque

Part Five: Conclusion

Keeping Faith: What We Know About Downtown Revitalization in Small Urban Centers

Michael A. Burayidi


Read Chapter one

About the Author

Michael A. Burayidi is Associate Professor of Urban Planning and Coordinator of the Urban and Regional Studies program at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh. His professional interests are in the area of comparative economic development, downtown revitalization, sustainable development, and urban land management. Michael Burayidi is also the author of Resilient Downtowns.


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