This book presents a fully comprehensive look at what all communities—large and small, urban and rural—can do to grow and sustain their local economic bases. It examines the causes of economic decline for localities as well as the economic “product” being marketed to employers, the process of growth, and the means of sustaining economic growth over time. Drawing on the experiences of hundreds of communities and hundreds of leaders around the United States, Understanding Community Economic Growth and Decline outlines the various strategies that have or have not worked to enable or support a general local economic recovery. Exploring many facets of growth and re-growth following periods of economic decline, and offering practical, real-life tactics that have been successfully employed in local and regional economies across the US, this book is required reading for community planners and administrators, those currently working in public administration, and students studying regional planning or economic development.

chapter |7 pages


part I|30 pages

An Examination of Existing Theories of Community Economic Growth and Decline

part II|96 pages

Why Local Economies Must Grow

chapter 5|18 pages

Economic Stasis

“We Don’t Want to Grow; We Want to Stand Still”

chapter 6|26 pages

Global Forces on Local Economies

chapter 8|24 pages

Over-Dependence on a Single Company or a Single Industry

Case Studies

part III|29 pages

The Impacts of Insufficient Local Economic Growth

chapter 11|3 pages

Community and Citizen Responses

part IV|88 pages

Enhancing the Local “Product”

chapter 12|17 pages

Preparing and Selling the Product

chapter 13|13 pages

Physical Requisites for Economic Development

chapter 14|12 pages

Matching Communities to Optimal Business Development

The “Right Kinds” of Jobs

chapter 16|11 pages

Building Amenities to Drive Growth

part VI|6 pages

Sinclair Lewis Redux

chapter 27|10 pages

Conclusions and Actions/Recommendations