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MAY 22, 2010

Revitalizing a city

Toledo, like many Midwestern cities, including Indianapolis and of course Cleveland, has invested tons of money in creating downtown fountains, plazas and parks. Urban planners love these grand schemes, promising that once they are built, tourist will flock to enjoy a "revitalized" downtown.

Yeah, good luck with that.

My recent visit to Toledo for the AIGA Design Educators Conference offered a look at how a lovely park on the Maumee River fared on a sunny Spring afternoon.

Clearly the citizens of Toledo don't want or need this park. But then the planners rarely ask the citizens of any city what they want. The big bucks go to schemes designed to attract tourists and their dollars. The citizens of the city rarely benefit from revitalization.

They just pay for it.

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