Vanderbilt Law Review


Robin P. Malloy

First Page



America's urban centers are experiencing a renaissance of sorts that reflects the vitality of a renewed interest in the city.Dynamic growth and revitalization of the central city have emerged since the 1970s as key focal points for investment and development, replacing years of investing primarily in suburbanization. The emerging activity in America's urban down towns has been more than an isolated or segmented investment in office buildings. With strong political support and the emergence of an affluent group of new urbanites, some central cities are said to be transforming into entirely new urban environments where people not only work, but live, shop, and entertain.

This renewed interest in revitalizing America's down towns,and in urbanization in general, is important for a number of reasons. Among these reasons is a vibrant city's ability to give strong identification and pride to local residents and politicians while also providing the financial support necessary for varied educational,cultural, and political activities that otherwise would not be available in smaller communities. The most significant reason for promoting the revitalization of America's urban centers, however, involves the recognition that cities are a necessary, if not sufficient,basis for fueling long-term economic growth, job creation, and capital formation. The economic strength of urban centers and the extended regions that surround them is essential, not only for improving the local standard of living, but for improving regional and national economic prospects as well. Cities provide the closely knit environment necessary for the incubation of many small business enterprises. Only in the womb of the urban environment can the small business enterprise or entrepreneur have access to extensive sources of resource capital, flexible use of technology, close relationships with other similarly innovative firms, and close interchange of workers and ideas with others possessing different kinds of expertise.