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Regrowing (New) Urbanism in Appalachia

In the latter half of the twentieth century, Appalachia fell behind its peers in terms of development as the economy changed and the region was forced to restructure. Typical suburban sprawl development took place in areas, though overall infrastructure maintenance was largely deferred, and little was done. Over the past decade, spurred on by new economic energy brought on by shale development and the technology sectors, many communities throughout the Appalachian region have begun to reinvest in themselves. Many communities are pursuing a New Urbanist approach to redevelopment, at least in part. A focus on revitalizing traditional neighborhoods, increasing mixed use and mixed densities, establishing 'third places', and focusing on pedestrian/bicycling safety have become increasingly common. This session will focus on three communities in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Tuscarawas, Salem, and Pittsburgh have taken varying approaches, but have found success in securing investments to rebuild their communities. From a village to a small city to a metropolis, there are different ways to accomplish the goal of helping allow communities to thrive. The residents of these communities and their leaders have had the foresight to leverage their history and community support to rebuild themselves and get into a position to develop in the new economy of the twenty-first century.

Kevin Buettner, AICP
Wendy Moeller, FAICP

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