Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

Book explores successful cities and towns

Written by Scott LaMar, Executive Producer | Feb 18, 2019 4:12 AM
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Deborah and James Fallows with WITF's Scott LaMar at Midtown Scholar Bookstore/photo by Joe Ulrich


What to look for on Smart Talk Monday, February 18, 2019:

American cities and towns have undergone significant changes over the past half-century. Many lost population, businesses shut down, jobs were lost, schools suffered and in many cases crime increased. Some didn't suffer as much as others and some began to re-think and re-invent themselves sooner than others.

But change took thinking and planning that was innovative and different. Many began using their physical assets like waterfronts to attract residents and visitors. Entertainment venues such as restaurants, bars and theaters increased. The arts often were the driving force behind a resurrection. Speciality schools for the arts or science and technology brought more people. As a result, there are cities and towns that have been resurrected.

James and Deborah Fallows travelled to many of these places and chronicled what they found in the best-selling book Our Towns: A 100,000 Mile Journey Into America's Heartland. The Fallows recently discussed the book and their findings at Midtown Scholar Bookstore in Harrisburg and we hear that conversation on Monday's Smart Talk.

During the discussion, we hear what characteristics successful cities and towns have and how specific places like Allentown, Greenville, South Carolina and the Golden Triangle of Mississippi have made comebacks.

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