Date of Graduation

Spring 2008


Master of Public Administration


Political Science

Committee Chair

James Kaatz


The latter part of the 20th century saw a paradigm shift as Fordism gave way to post-Fordist modes of production. As manufacturing was being off-shored, cities had to redefine themselves. However, the large majority of the urban affairs literature addresses large metropolitan areas' downtowns and neighborhoods. An emerging question then is what happens in mid-sized cities? Do the theories that apply to metropolitan areas apply to mid-size cities as well? What are the dynamics, if any, particular to smaller cities? What are the synergies that form and why? This thesis, making extensive use of Florida's creative class theory and Lloyd's concept of neo-bohemia, is an in-depth case study of the Springfield, Missouri, downtown area. It chronicles its revitalization through detailed interviews with various stakeholders including institutions, small business owners, and artists. This theoretical approach frames the data collected from the interviews and organizes them in a three-period timeline based on anchor events; corresponding to the timeline is a three-layer construct of the relationship of the stakeholders in the downtown's revitalization. Research findings conclude that it is the synergies formed between the public sector and quasi governmental institutions, small business owners and artists that have resulted in the revitalization of the downtown area; that the idea of diversity is relative and should not be viewed in absolute terms in its relationship to creativity and finally that mid-sized cities have a sense of community, a factor vital to the revitalization process.


urban, downtown, creative class, cities, public policy

Subject Categories

Public Administration


© Evangelia Petridou Daughtrey

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