Bantam towns of Georgia: Small town revitalization and economic development
Riley, Rebecca Dawn
MetadataShow full item record
Over 80-percent of the U.S. population lives in urban areas that occupy a mere 3-percent of the country's total area. Development problems and infrastructural stress caused by urban overpopulation can already be seen in the nation's largest cities. Scattered across North America are small towns that, at one time, were largely sustained by agriculture or industry, but have watched as farming and manufacturing operations leave them behind. Rooted in these economic conditions is the growing gap between metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. The high concentration of rural lands and high poverty rates in the South makes this region particularly vulnerable to the effects of rural economic distress, and put it in desperate need of solutions. For many small towns in Georgia, the last two decades have brought either rapid population growth, as seen in the areas surrounding Atlanta, or great population decline, most clearly depicted in the southeastern region of the state. Each condition produces a host of different challenges for these small communities, illustrating no simple solutions. It is the focus of this research to determine what proximities, economic assets, and formal characteristics are necessary for small towns in Georgia to successfully revitalize and grow. Furthermore, it is the aim of this research to present a means of analyzing the assets of small towns in order to determine where outside investment is most likely to make a difference, and how resources can best be utilized.