Economic Development in three Urban Areas: Atlanta, Baltimore and Cleveland

6176 Words 25 Pages
Executive Summary
The following pages review the comprehensive strategies that have been used by the cities of Atlanta, Baltimore and Cleveland to improve their economic conditions. It should become apparent to the reader that the fate of each city is determined by many factors including historical events, the balance of power between stakeholder groups, the ability of the city to capitalize on federal programs and the relationships between the private sector and the community. Unfortunately, no clear winning strategy arose from each city’s economic development efforts; they all caused both gainers and losers.
     Atlanta is a city that is led by business leadership whose main priority is to promote business
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Sixty years later, Atlanta is still controlled by its business elite; however the complexion of the city and its power structure has changed dramatically. The urban area is predominantly African-American, although Hispanic neighborhoods are beginning to surface. The mayors of the last few decades have been African-American and there has been a steady growth of African-American businesses. Atlanta’s response has been to increase its efforts to make the city more attractive to businesses in the hopes that the businesses will help Atlanta continue its growth. The following discussion reviews some of the strategic steps taken by Atlanta’s elite to move it into the upper echelon of cosmopolitan cities that are capable of attracting Fortune 500 companies.

The Atlanta Project
The Atlanta Project (TAP) was created in 1991 by former United States President Jimmy Carter to facilitate discussion on problems in economic development, housing, education, children/youth, health, arts and the public safety for the half a million Georgia residents that live in Atlanta and the surrounding areas. Although TAP was crafted to be an intermediary from the very beginning (a result of meetings of leaders from Atlanta corporations, academic institutions and non profit organizations); there was a misinterpretation by the very public it wished to serve. Local residents believed that TAP, as an entity would solve their

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