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comparative research: benefits of fringe vs centre ec dev strategies


A similar question to the previous one.
I'm working with a Smart Growth group here in British Columbia that wants to develop a research project around this question:

"Which brings greater benefits to small and medium size communities: economic development strategies that emphasize retail development along the urban fringe (i.e. big box retail or auto-oriented strip development), or strategies that emphasize mainstreet revitalization, infill, small scale brownfield redevelopment etc."

Right now I'm trying to track down any studies that have been completed in this area (fiscal impact studies on both options completed by single communities, comparative studies of two similar communities that have chosen different strategies, etc)and the indicators that they have used to measure costs and benefits.

Can anyone recommend any documented research on this topic?
Thanks for any suggestions on where to track this information down.


Offhand I can't think of anything helpful. I will have to check my library. I suspect the real answer is the to be successful, a community needs to do both. You can't accommodate everything downtown, and you shouldn't. Nor should you write off the downtown and neighborhoods. Seek the middle way.