Public-space design as catalyst for economic development
Lewis, Hazel Nadia
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Small towns across the US face similar problems; tight budgets and pressing needs keep rising faster than revenues, resulting in many communities struggling to maintain a viable economic base. In response to this dilemma, local leaders in Georgia have been investing in public space development (often with the assistance of Public Service units at the University of Georgia) as a means of encouraging economic activity. However, one missing component in the outreach process is an overarching framework that guides resources towards those projects that can generate the greatest economic benefit to the community. This thesis explores the typologies of communities and their associated public space projects that are being implemented in an attempt to stimulate economic development. These project types are then evaluated to determine which endeavors tend to be most successful as catalysts for economic development, as a mechanism for determining where communities should focus their efforts.