Even America’s most depressed downtowns are showing vigorous signs of life. It’s a surprising development no one predicted in the bleak years of the 1970’s and 80’s when many so-called experts dismissed the idea of downtown revitalization as wishful thinking in the age of surburbanization.
Dave Feehan, who heads the International Downtown Association, is here to tell us how downtowns have defied predictions and come back strong. David has devoted more than 35 years to rebuilding and revitalizing cities, directing downtown programs in Des Moines, Detroit, and Kalamazoo, and neighborhood development programs in Pittsburgh and Minneapolis.
Also with us is Dennis Maher, a sculptor working in Buffalo who brings new life to abandoned buildings by using the waste of other restoration projects. Dennis defines his work as “afterlives, the attempt to renew and to give another life to the wasted remains of a city.” Dennis is an adjunct professor at the University at Buffalo.
And we’ll hear from Nate Berg of Planetizen and Walker Smith of Yankelovich with his commentary on the stress of change.
Smart City is a syndicated, weekly hour-long public radio talk show that takes an in-depth look at urban life: the people, places, ideas and trends that affect us all. Host Carol Coletta talks with national and international public policy experts, economists, business leaders, artists, developers, planners and others on the pulse of city life for a penetrating discussion on urban issues.
In Memphis, Smart City is broadcast on WKNO FM, 91.1, at 9 a.m. Sundays. It is also webcast and podcast at the Smart City website, which also has a listing of broadcast times in other cities and the sign up for a weekly newsletter.