Online Toolkit for Smaller Legacy Cities Offers Strategies for Post-Industrial Success
New and timely online toolkit from the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and Greater Ohio Policy Center presents strategies for post-industrial success for smaller, industrial legacy cities.
Smaller legacy cities - older industrial communities with about 30,000 to 200,000 residents – are undergoing significant transformations as they adapt to twenty-first century economic realities. Towards smoothing this unprecendented industrial pivot, the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and the Greater Ohio Policy Center (GOPC) have developed and released a useful online toolkit with resources for practitioners working to revitalize smaller legacy cities. The Smaller Legacy City Toolkit compiles materials from respected sources to help local government, nonprofit, philanthropic, and private-sector leaders implement the work in the report Revitalizing America’s Smaller Legacy Cities. This toolkit is intended to help leaders of revitalization efforts free up time for creating and implementing their vision for the future by compiling high-quality resources into a single online toolkit.
The toolkit features three kinds of resources for each of the revitalization strategies:
- Tools, including how-to guides and checklists;
- Programs, often with examples of replicable initiatives; and
- Background information, which includes white papers and websites that further explain the strategy, program, or tool.
The new toolkit is organized around the eight strategies for small legacy city revitalization identified in the report Revitalizing America’s Smaller Legacy Cities, released by GOPC and the Lincoln Institute in summer 2017, found that smaller legacy cities have unique challenges and opportunities facing them as they transition to be fully competitive in the twenty-first century economy. GOPC is committed to providing support for leaders in Ohio’s twenty small and mid-sized legacy cities, including through this online toolkit. The toolkit summarizes each of these resources, and if applicable, links to an organization or source that can provide more information.
The Smaller Legacy City Toolkit also includes in-depth case studies that illustrate how the revitalization strategies have been used successfully in two smaller legacy cities, South Bend, Indiana and Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The toolkit is intended to be a living document, and will be periodically updated with cutting-edge resources. If there is a new resource that you believe should be included in the toolkit, you can submit it for review here.
Where to begin
Revitalizing and transforming smaller legacy cities is no small task – it is one that will take years of persistent, coordinated effort from leaders in government, business, grassroots organizations, nonprofits, philanthropy, and anchor institutions.
Research on smaller legacy city revitalization has shown that many communities need to focus on the basics – making sure that they have a widely shared vision for what the future will look like and sufficient capacity to carry out that vision. To succeed in executing revitalization strategies, communities must have willing leaders in place across different sectors and mechanisms for coordinating that leadership.
With that in mind, the toolkit's authors suggest that users of this new resource make sure that they have a strong grasp on the two baseline strategies – strengthen civic capacity and encourage a shared vision – before moving on.
About these partnering organizations
Greater Ohio Policy Center
Greater Ohio Policy Center (GOPC) develops and advances policies and practices that value our urban cores and metropolitan regions as economic drivers and preserve Ohio’s open space and farmland. Through advocacy, research, outreach, and education, GOPC strives to create a policy and political climate that allow our communities to stabilize and thrive for statewide economic growth.
Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy seeks to improve quality of life through the effective use, taxation, and stewardship of land. A nonprofit private operating foundation whose origins date to 1946, the Lincoln Institute researches and recommends creative approaches to land as a solution to economic, social, and environmental challenges. Through education, training, publications, and events, we integrate theory and practice to inform public policy decisions worldwide.