Small Cities Thinking Big


6″ x 9″, softcover, 220 pages, McFarland.

SKU: CSC001 Category:


Many cities with a population of 150,000 or less struggle to compete with their larger neighbors and often have trouble attracting residents and new businesses. Small Cities Thinking Big explores the many ways that these cities can compete on a larger scale without sacrificing their authentic small-town character.

The book tells the story of downtown revitalization in Maine’s capital city of Augusta. Chapters focus on the work of the Augusta Downtown Alliance in the areas of organization, placemaking, aesthetics, marketing and branding, traffic planning, upper-floor development, and more.

While this is the story of Augusta, each chapter is supplemented with expert guidance and case studies from other small cities that informed the successful revitalization of Augusta (population 19,000).

Table of Contents


  1. Organizing Your House: The Importance of Organizations and Partnerships
  2. It’s All About Distinction: Identifying and Placemaking Your Small Town
  3. Focus on Aesthetics
  4. Ignore the Haters: Learn to Trust Your Instincts
  5. It’s the Traffic Count, Stupid
  6. Marketing Your Small City…the Right Way
  7. Trickle Down(town) Economics: Why Upper-Floor Development Is Key to Street-Level Retail
  8. Get a Little Artsy
  9. Leveraging the Unexpected: A Proactive Approach to Disaster Mitigation
  10. Avoid the Three Deadly Fallacies of Urban Planning
  11. Mixing It Up: Celebrating Diversity in America’s Small Cities
  12. Conclusion: Not a Moment to Lose

Chapter Notes


About the Author

Author Michael Hall has acted as executive director for the Augusta Downtown Alliance since 2000. The approaches in Augusta have much in common with other small cities nationwide.


Read chapter 3: Focus on aesthetics.


Small Cities Thinking Big  is guaranteed. If you are not 100% satisfied, you may return it within 30 days for a full refund.