Are Business Improvement Districts Perceived as Effective for Revitalizing Mid-Sized Rust Belt Cities?.
Abstract: Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) have become an increasingly
popular urban revitalization tool in the United States over the past twenty years. This
public-private partnership has been widely endorsed by BID proponents and urbanists alike,
but the effectiveness of this tool has been insufficiently researched. Where research does
exist, the focus is on BIDs in larger, healthier ... read morecities. Through an extensive review of the
relevant literature, stakeholder interviews, and analysis of BID-published reports, this
thesis asks how local, downtown stakeholders perceive the effectiveness of downtown BIDs in
mid-sized Rust Belt cities. Interviews with City government representatives, BID
representatives, and long-term downtown property owners reveal that the downtown BIDs in
the three profiled cities, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and Cincinnati, have been effective
contributors to downtown revitalization efforts. Special attention is given to the context
surrounding the impetus to form a BID and the particular programming decisions that have
deemed these BIDs effective. Can these three successes be transferred to similar yet
Thesis (M.A.)--Tufts University, 2013.
Submitted to the Dept. of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning.
Advisor: Justin Hollander.
Committee: Lorlene Hoyt.
Keyword: Urban planning.read less