This report contends that the economic future of a major rust belt state depends on revitalizing its demographic mix and curbing some of the nation’s most radical patterns of sprawl and abandonment. Above all, the study reveals that Pennsylvania’s highly decentralized growth patterns are weakening the state’s established communities, undercutting the very places whose assets the state needs to compete in the knowledge economy.
Ultimately, the report concludes that these trends are not inevitable, and can be reshaped if the state embraces a dynamic new vision of economic competitiveness that links the Commonwealth’s desire for prosperity to the need to revive older cities and towns.
Background Papers: (pdf files)
Reforming the state’s brownfields program
The spatial allocation of PA’s seven major economic development programs
The spatial allocation of PA’s three critical economic development programs
Addressing PA’s local government fragmentation
Metropolitan Area Profiles: (pdf files)