Lessons in Downtown Revitalisation for Small Cities and Towns
In many ways Downtown Clarksdale is an exceptional place where creative people and their talents contribute to local economic development, building largely on the close association with Blues music and the development and promotion of cultural tourism.
Although Clarksdale may be “exceptional” in possessing the underlying factors that support new economic growth in Downtown, the lessons that flow from this experience are applicable to other small cities and towns. Moreover, the lessons are applicable to places that may have quite different foci for development, but which have the underlying ingredients that contribute to economic and community growth.
These lessons are associated with such aspects as building on, and promoting, particular assets; recognising the important role of “creative people”; gaining community support; and ensuring a coordinated and integrated approach by all parties involved. Factors that hinder or constrain Downtown development need to be addressed, such as avoiding “turf wars” between competing interests, and overcoming a lack of support in parts of the wider community for downtown revitalisation.
- Henshall, J. (2008). Downtown Clarksdale – An Action Plan for Economic Revitalization. Carlton: Essential Economics.Google Scholar