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Great Lakes Information



Great Lakes Information

For those who have yet to read this letter, I wish to offer my recent work on
waterfront revitalization around the Great Lakes.  Due to an overwhelming
number of responses I received from previous messages, I feel that it is
necessary for me to send another message in hopes that I may reach someone
new.

In September of 1996, I completed my masters thesis under the direction of
 Dr. Joseph P. Schwieterman, professor at DePaul University in Chicago,
accomplished author, and director of the Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan
Development, a nonprofit research organization dedicated to promoting
effective land-use, transportation, and infrastructure planning in the
Chicago metropolitan region.

My thesis is titled “The Revitalization of Small and Medium-Sized
Communities: An Assessment of Great Lakes Waterfronts”.  I feel that it
offers a fresh perspective on waterfront efforts in cities other than
Chicago, Milwaukee, Cleveland, and the like.  The report is the culmination
of information from academic publications, trade periodicals, personal
interviews, and other sources.  Below, I have attached the thesis abstract
for your review.  

If you wish, I could send you a copy of the entire document.  My thesis is
nearly 70 pages in length, and changes in style, structure, and length can
certainly be made to accommodate the needs of anyone willing to publish some
or all of the material.  I would be more than happy to write an article on
the topic, based, of course, on my research findings.  I feel that the
information in the report is far too useful to remain on my bookshelf.
 Indeed, the administrators with whom I spoke during the interview process
expressed a great need for more information on this issue.

My personal credentials are primarily in the arenas of urban planning and
development, public policy, and research.  I have a masters degree in Public
Service Management from DePaul University in Chicago and am currently working
for the aforementioned Chaddick Institute, also in Chicago.  Furthermore, my
deep interest in writing compels me to contact both individuals and
organizations with a stake in vitality of the Great Lakes.

I would be grateful for your comments on anyone who might find an interest in
my work.  My e-mail address is MDoozer@aol.com.  Thank you for your time and
consideration.

Sincerely,
Michael S. Davidson  

Abstract

	Great Lakes waterfronts are undergoing dramatic changes as economic shifts
bring a variety of social, economic, and environmental problems to the
region.  This leaves small and medium-sized industrial communities with the
grim challenge of rehabilitating blighted waterfront property left behind by
the withdrawal of heavy industry.

	This report considers opportunities for revitalizing Great Lakes urban
waterfronts. It explores the reasons for waterfront changes and determines
what communities have done to facilitate progress on their waterfronts.  The
focus is primarily on industrial communities that underwent dramatic
transformations after the decline of the manufacturing sector.  To assess
prominent issues affecting these communities, 18 interviews are conducted
with administrators representing municipalities along each of the Great
Lakes.

	The research findings suggest that, as heavy industry declines, tourism and
recreation are establishing themselves as primary sources of revenue for many
waterfront communities. They suggest that for waterfronts to be revitalized,
however, the property must be in exemplary condition.  They also show that
systems of community support, private funding, and political cooperation need
to be in place for the successful revitalization of blighted property. 

      The report culminates in a series of recommendations for waterfront
renewal.  It calls for communities to consider the following:  developing a
master plan by which the community can participate and understand;  promoting
grass-roots involvement to avoid government bureaucracy and political
conflict;  implementing change through organization and planning of project
goals and tasks;  promoting private sector involvement;  and creating
waterfront accessibility for community residents and visitors.