Plugging In Components Strategic Investments as Catalysts

National, state and city administrations often invest in specific buildings as catalysts to spur further development (see Chapter 6). In France, for instance, it was a national policy to invest in museums in the heart of many provincial towns to revitalize their cores by bringing in visitors. Los Angeles and Philadelphia are amongst other cities in the United States that have followed suit. Camden, New Jersey has an aquarium. Glasgow in Scotland has been revitalized through the arts. At least 90 U.S. cities are following the same tack with Arts Districts. In Glendale, California the investment was in parking garages to spur retail development. Many universities are plugging in 'magnet infrastructure' off campus to rejuvenate run-down neighbourhoods. The University of California, Riverside, for instance, has developed a Museum of Photography and a School of Visual Arts to attract young people downtown. In Chattanooga recently it has been two schools.

It is not the architecture of the buildings that is the attraction, but what the building's uses attract because of what they offer in terms of services to the area around them. The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao may be an exception. It was, however, also part of a larger strategy. Museums attract visitors who spend money. Schools fall into a different category. They are parts of the infrastructure of everyday life. Good schools are essential in attracting middle-income families to live nearby. The catalytic effect is social, economic and physical. Middle-income families care for more than just surviving on a day-to-day basis: high-quality education for their children is highly prized.

Major references

Attoe, Wayne and Donn Logan (1989). American Urban Architecture: Catalysts in the Design of Cities. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. Vossman, Laura (2002). How many artists does it take to make a downtown? Planning 68 (6): 20-3.

Homeowners Guide To Landscaping

Homeowners Guide To Landscaping

How would you like to save a ton of money and increase the value of your home by as much as thirty percent! If your homes landscape is designed properly it will be a source of enjoyment for your entire family, it will enhance your community and add to the resale value of your property. Landscape design involves much more than placing trees, shrubs and other plants on the property. It is an art which deals with conscious arrangement or organization of outdoor space for human satisfaction and enjoyment.

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