GOPC’s former Manager of Research and Policy Torey Hollingsworth recently travelled to Muncie, Indiana to participate in Ball State University’s Small Cities Conference. The conference was an opportunity for academics and practitioners to share their latest research and experiences related to opportunities for small cities, particularly vulnerable ones, to address the challenges that face them.
Torey presented on a panel titled “Addressing the Unique Economic Challenges of Vulnerable Small Industrial Cities” along with Alan Mallach of the Center for Community Progress and Colleen Dawicki from the Working Cities program at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Torey presented a paper titled “Building a Network of Support for Small Legacy Cities: Lessons from Ohio,” which discussed the recent economic, policy, and fiscal challenges facing Ohio’s smaller legacy cities and GOPC’s work in building the Reinvention Cities network.
Several key themes emerged from the other presentations at the conference that reinforced GOPC’s research into small legacy city revitalization. Several researchers pointed to the importance of civic capacity for cities to remain strong in an increasingly competitive global economy. Others discussed how critical quality of place is for retaining and attraction residents and businesses. Both of these issues are at the center of GOPC’s advocacy and peer-learning work with Ohio’s Reinvention Cities.