New Jobs, New Residents, and New Possibilities
The Death and Afterlife of the Mall
The Gem City Moves Forward
Rebuilding After Incarceration
Building Your Future in Indiana
'Local, Local, Local':
How a Small Newspaper Survives
Flying Down East
Headed back to Eastport
Three Big Lessons From One Small Town
Connections, parallel themes, and lessons from Danville
Sioux Falls is Ready for Tom Hanks
A progress report
'A River, Not A Border': Report from Brownsville
Striving together for good health and well being in a Texas border town.
The American Sense of Place
An update: Reactions from readers and significant local-renewal developments
Report for America Revives Possibilities for Local Journalism
A promising movement, in discouraging times.
How Danville Has Avoided Omaha's Mistake
How the bittersweet heritage of old buildings in Danville, Virginia has helped them avoid the mistakes of Omaha..
Bitwise Goes Big
Fresno tech startup, Bitwise gets $27 million in funding to expand its operations.
The Reinvention of a Downtown: Danville's Story Part 2
A snapshot of the efforts paying off in reviving Danville's downtown.
The Reinvention of Danville's Downtown: Part 1
A factory town coming back
How a 'Communiversity' Works
Real collaboration in Mississippi
What David Halberstam Learned in Mississippi
A Journalistic Icon's First Lessons
National Policies Have Local Effects
Changes — in trade policies, and for refugees — are making the United States more closed, rather than more open
The Last Family-Owned Daily in Mississippi
How one local paper survives
Dead Malls, Everywhere
Readers weigh in on malls past their prime
Dead Malls, Reborn Cities
Ideas from the readers
What Happens to Abandoned Malls?
'Unknown Outside Indiana'
What We Saw in Muncie
How a university is helping a town move forward
Fort Wayne Makes Its Own Luck
Breadth, density, and boldness of experimentation
A Community Finding a Path Forward
The civic-renewal mix in Angola, Indiana
A report on progress in Eastport.
'Our Erie' Tells Its Story
Meanwhile in America:
'New Americans' in the Rust Belt
'Let's Care About Someone Who Does Not Belong to Our Tribe'
A Big Step for Little Eastport
A new life for the Seacoast Canning Company
All Progress Is Local:
New Year's Notes from Around the Country
Returning to Ohio
How a small, Midwestern town has changed over the decades—and where it aims to go
What the Renewable-Energy Economy Looks Like
A Renewable Energy Revolution in Small-town America
Update on the Eastport Saga
The never-say-die city
Refugees, Immigrants, and the Battle Over Who Is American
What It Takes to Settle Refugees
The people of Erie, Pennsylvania, have welcomed immigrants and refugees, and believe that their town is better off for having done so.
Annals of Renewal:
MTP Podcast, Knight Competition
The Generational Difference in Optimism: A Video Look
Older People Moan, Younger People Hope
Is America in a Boiling Fury About Immigration?
Not the America I Have Seen
And Now for Something Saner and More Positive:
The Ebbs and Flows of Coastal Maine
Quoddy Village was built ahead of its time
Erie's Unlikely Benefactor: Its Casino
Legalized gambling is a familiar part of the modern American landscape. But an innovative scheme in a lakeside city in western Pennsylvania shows new possibilities for putting casino revenue to positive public use.
Cattle Drives in Down East Maine
Little Town, Big Art
The arts at the center of economic and civic plans
A Waterfront Library
In Erie, Pennsylvania, a public institution is building on its nautical past to open a world of opportunity for local residents.
The World Comes to a Tiny Town
Eastport's Lesson in Globalization
Eastport Update: Electric Power from the Sea
Generation from currents
Notes From the Rest of the Country:
'Now That I've Got a Look at This Place, It's Not So Bad!'
'America Is a Dream Country'
What does it mean to spend years as a Syrian refugee and then land in a brand new life in Erie, Pennsylvania?
Erie and America
The challenges of Rust Belt America are real, and well-known. What's less familiar is the response some mid-sized cities are making.
Educating Migrant Children in Dodge City
"We're a port of entry 1,000 miles from the border."
Dodge City's New Frontier
A high school in the famed Kansas town is embracing its rapidly changing demographics.
New Pioneers in Southwest Kansas
Mexican immigrants on the Great Plains try to build new lives, with hope and help.
The Story of Ernestor
Dodge City, Kansas relies on undocumented immigrants—from meatpacking workers to the city's assistant finance director.
What Rural Economies Look Like From Above
In Kansas, the advent of an energy industry is inscribing itself on the physical landscape, adding wind farms to wheat farms.
The Multi-Dimensional Reality of the Nation,
vs. the Flattened Reality of National Politics
More on the Public Role in Fostering Private Innovation
The Maker Movement:
If Hamilton Were Around, He Would Be a Fan
Finding Health Care in the Desert
With the closest hospital 100 miles away, Ajo, Arizona's Desert Senita Health Center acts as the region's clinic
The Surprising Problem With U.S. Manufacturing:
It's Creating Too Many Jobs
The Maker Revolution:
What It Has Changed, and What It Hasn't — Yet
Why the Maker Movement Matters: Part 2, Agility
Business are finding that "makerspaces" enable them to reduce what's known as the mind-to-market gap: how long it takes for an idea to become a thing on a shelf.
'Mr. China' on Making Things in America
Farming in the Desert
A small town in Arizona grows a thriving food scene.
Why the Maker Movement Matters: Part 1, the Tools Revolution
Just like the internet before it, the Maker Movement is revolutionizing manufacturing, with implications for startups and jobs.
Wichita, Salisbury, Knoxville, Seattle: Revival Updates
On National Beer Day, Craft Brewers Improving Water, and Life,
In More Ways than One
No, I'm Not Kidding, They Actually Matter in Civic Development!
From Fresno to Duluth to Allentown, with Montana in Between
Checklists for Success,
from Knoxville to Salt Lake City and Beyond
Startups Creating Jobs in the United States, Around the World
-- and Now in Cuba
Listening to Montana
In Chester, Montana, a world away from city life inspires an artist's music.
Shifting Back to Better News: What's Happening in Ohio
How Libraries Are Becoming Modern Makerspaces
They've long served as communal gathering spots, but these civic institutions are becoming gateways to technological tinkering.
With the PBS NewsHour
in Greenville, SC
A Public Library Tells the Civic Story of a Town
Greenville's public library puts its past and present on full display: mills, racial history, internationalism, public-private collaborations, and culture.
Talking About a Second Gilded Age, With 'On Point' Listeners
'The Looming Entrepreneurial Boom': Kauffman Weighs In
Brand-new companies play a surprisingly important part in progress toward fuller employment. A new report says that the prospects for start-ups may be improving.
How America Is Putting Itself Back Together
Most people in the U.S. believe their country is going to hell. But they're wrong. What a three-year journey by single-engine plane reveals about reinvention and renewal.
Fareed Zakaria GPS, and Another Traveler's Views
Pitching in to Save a Library
In San Bernardino, one way to help save the city is to save its library.
Wondering Why We Like Fresno?
Some people are smug about the coolness of New York or San Francisco. Those places are nice, but Jim Fallows much prefers "the kick-ass spirit" of Fresno.
A Library Writes Its Own Story
A California library becomes a living legend.
An Innovative Library in Oregon, and Other Reports From the Road
Kicking off reports from the inland Northwest, plus a happy birthday to James Baldwin
A Community College at the Center of an Oregon Recovery Story
When the lumber industry left, the region bet its future on technology—even though it lacked a research university
Post-Memorial Day Note: Another Kind of Service, San Bernardino
"I don't just sit around. I don't sleep much. That's what I do. I do stuff." The story of a man determined to do something for his town.
The Battle for Downtown, From Canada to the Carolinas
"It is strange, but true." What one reader says about Raleigh, North Carolina, applies many other places as well.
What It's Like When Your City Goes Broke
San Bernardino, California, is poor, and has a high unemployment rate, and is affected by drought, and is in bankruptcy court. But its real problem is something else.
California's Improbable Navel-Orange Queen
Eliza Tibbets was a suffragist, abolitionist, and spiritualist—and the mother of California's orange industry.
Fresno to South Bend to Louisville:
The Elusive Elements of Civic Success
The Dilemmas of Maker Culture
Thinking through the consequences of the proliferation of powerful tools and technologies
Nice Downtowns: How Did They Get That Way?
"Visitors think, 'That's just how Seattle is.' But it wasn't." Lessons via places ranging from Fresno to Shanghai.
How Makerspaces Help Local Economies
New technologies like 3-D printers and laser cutters have boosted entrepreneurial activity in American communities.
Three Ways of Thinking About Fresno (and Why You Should Care)
A beleaguered city shows the path toward revival.
From Xizhou to Eastport to Ajo: Big Dreams in Small Towns
The same kind of ambition you see in political campaigns, races for sports championships, or attempts to score a big IPO—but toward a different end.
Creating California's New Bohemia—in an Unexpected Locale
"It's a great time to be an artist in Fresno." This is a possibility I had never considered before visiting. And now ...
Ajo, Arizona: Oasis in the Desert
How a city with century-old "good bones" tries to reinvent itself.
Ajo, Arizona: A Small Town Pushed to the Brink, and Coming Back
What does a town do when most of its people lose their jobs nearly overnight? For the people of this small town, the surprising answer places heavy emphasis on the arts.
Downtown Fresno Kicks Off Its Campaign
Why "unapologetic" may be the most important word in a city's recovery plan
How People in Boulder Build Community out of a Conference
An annual meeting brings speakers from around the world together with students and local residents, in intimate settings.
Stages of a Downtown Comeback: Fresno Begins the Long Climb
Urban revivals require a shared narrative, private-sector partners, and a public official championing a far-sighted plan.
Among California's Centers of Technology: Fresno?
How would you build a high-tech center in a vast farming zone? You might start by applying tech solutions to farming problems of water use and sustainability in all forms.
Welcome to American Futures 3.0
A new season of reports on a renewing America
Talking With Dan Richard About High-Speed Rail
The chairman of California's costly and controversial infrastructure project explains why (in his view) it actually will get built—and whether its champion, 77-year-old Governor Jerry Brown, is likely to be able to take a ride.
On SOTU Day, Some Next Steps in Civic Life
A conference in Washington, a development across the country
California High-Speed Rail: The Collector's Edition
An index to the arguments pro and con about the most ambitious infrastructure project in the United States
California High-Speed Rail: A Minor End, an Important Beginning
Who should get the benefit of the doubt when we consider the unknowable future?
How to Create a Tech Startup Scene
Pittsburgh's success provides important and surprising clues.
A Rural High School with a 21st Century Outlook
A California school prepares its students for success.
That Winning Bid for California's High-Speed Rail:
Is It Suspiciously Low?
California High-Speed Rail: It's Happening
Three weeks from now, a groundbreaking ceremony on the most important infrastructure project now underway in the United States
How the Arts Drove Pittsburgh's Revitalization
The role of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, founded by a wealthy band of visionaries 30 years ago, is central—but hard to replicate.
The Past Is Never Past: Slave Labor in the West Virginia Salt Wo
"It is not fair to the men who were forced to work in this industry to celebrate the salt without celebrating them as well."
Another Look at Salt-Harvesting in West Virginia
Combine ancient ingredients with a modern sensibility, and a new business takes form.
Artisanal Salt From an Ancient Sea
A different kind of underground wealth is the source of a new business in West Virginia.
What Millennials Love About Pittsburgh
'Land of Opportunity' has real meaning here.
How Green Riverfronts Transformed Pittsburgh
The City of Bridges revives the rivers that helped make it an economic powerhouse.
America's Tiniest Innovators: Report from Pittsburgh
Teaching technology and life lessons in an urban elementary school
The Story of Moop: How an Unlikely Company Came to Be
A Pittsburgh woman managed to build a successful bag company from a failed effort to make a dress.
California Dreamin': How Collaboration Builds Communities
In Winters, California, a library, a swimming pool, and a school make a big difference in the quality of life.
The iPhone Case That Can Call the Police
A startup in Pittsburgh has designed a smartphone case and app to deter assault and help catch the attackers.
The Company That Turns Plastic Bottles Into Fabric—and Jobs
A startup in Pittsburgh shows what a social enterprise is capable of.
The Hard Road to Making Hard Liquor
A look at a nascent distillery in Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley
Hip in the Heartland
It's not just Brooklyn and the Bay Area any more
No. 14: Why You Shouldn't Get Your Hopes Up for a Self-Driving C
"Would you prefer a system where you can be instantly teleported from SF to LA? Of course. But that doesn't mean it's going to happen."
Going Home to Columbus
A generation returns to build lives and a town.
Making Mead in a Space-Age World
A new craft-beverage business in Allentown, Pennsylvania, benefits from its association with an incubator of high-tech businesses.
California High-Speed Rail Lucky No. 13:
Let's Look at Maglev and Other Alternatives. "Should we invest in infrastructure? Absolutely! But the right kind of infrastructure." Some ideas on what that might mean.
National Problems, Local Solutions: More Reports From Ohio
America and Americans in the active, not passive, mode
When 'Collaboration' Is More Than a Buzzword
The story of a business partnership that stands to boost the economy of Columbus, Ohio, and the surrounding region
What the Beer Industry and the Computer Industry Have in Common
They grew up in the same era and, despite some obvious differences, have some surprising parallels.
Pennsylvania's Beer Economy
Brewers have been perfecting their recipes in this part of the country since the middle of the 19th century.
No. 12: All Aboard for the California High-Speed Rail Chronicles
In next month's election, Jerry Brown is seeking a fourth term as California's governor and public support for his plan for a north-south bullet train to transform travel in a car-dependent state. Here is more of what's at stake.
Ingredients of a Better City: How Arts Play Their Part
A soft-power approach to hard economic and social problems
How to Attract Artists to a Down-and-Out Neighborhood
Columbus, Ohio, has figured out how to draw creative types to an area it is hoping to revitalize.
Urban Comeback Stories in 2 Swing States
Tales from two cities, plus the secret of the writing life
Wasted Waterfronts: Why Cities Struggle to Build Along Rivers
The story of Allentown, Pennsylvania, as it turns its attention to a long-neglected asset
Remaking Columbus's Most Downtrodden Neighborhood
Franklinton long has been called "The Bottoms." But not for much longer.
The 100% Renewable-Powered City: Too Good to be True?
Balancing substance and symbolism in the movement toward cleaner energy sources
Breathing Life Into Allentown: Pennsylvania Comes to the Rescue
What does it take to raise a city? More than a village. In fact, it may take a whole state.
Greening Up in Burlington, Rocking Out in Allentown
As American government seems ever more paralyzed at the national level, cities continue to find ways to grapple with real problems. Two more examples.
Countdown to Tonight's Arena Debut in Allentown
Is the city ready for its close-up? The locals say it is.
The Eagles Come to Allentown, and So Does 'American Futures'
Tomorrow is the first day in an old city's new life—or so the city leaders hope and believe.
California High-Speed Rail No. 11: Thinking in Time
Everybody talks about the future, but nobody does anything about it.
California High-Speed Rail No. 10: Palate Cleanser
"The decision on HSR is going to shape the future in ways we can't predict, and a touch of modesty in the arguments would be welcome."
California High-Speed Rail No. 9—the Chairman's Turn Again
You want to hear more about the biggest infrastructure project being considered anywhere in the country? You've come to the right place.
California High-Speed Rail No. 8—More Questions and Concerns
"Bad, bad, bad," and other critiques
The Courts Speak Up for California High-Speed Rail (No. 7)
And so do some readers.
California High-Speed Rail No. 6: Some Views From the Valley
People in Los Angeles and San Francisco often say that the initial links in a proposed north-south system would be "trains to nowhere." People from nowhere weigh in.
California High-Speed Rail No. 5: 10 Readers With 10 Views
A solution looking for a problem? A genuine leap forward? The best we can expect from messy political half-measures? Or something truly brave? Take your pick.
California High-Speed Rail No. 4: 7 Ways in Which High-Speed Rai
For your reference, the chairman's detailed pro-and-con about the most ambitious current attempt to change America's transportation infrastructure
California High-Speed Rail No. 3: Let's Hear From the Chairman
It's time for broader national attention to the most expensive and ambitious infrastructure proposal in America today.
California High-Speed Rail No. 2 — The Critics' Case
Every big infrastructure project is controversial. Most of them work out better than critics contend early on. But maybe the critics are right about high-speed rail. Let's hear what they say.
The California High-Speed Rail Debate—Kicking Things Off
The Erie Canal. The transcontinental railroad. The Interstate Highway system. Big, expensive, controversial—and indispensable. Is the next one in this series a new rail network in our most famously freeway-centric state?
Raj Shaunak and the Economic Boom in Eastern Mississippi
It's one thing to draw high-skill, high-wage jobs to a place that has historically lacked opportunities. It's something else altogether to find people qualified to fill them. A local answer to a national question.
Smaller Towns as Talent Magnets: The Chance to Make Things Work
"The kind of people who might have gone to NASA in the 1960s, Wall Street in the 1980s, or Silicon Valley in the late 1990s are now, I think, more likely than ever to work in municipal government." So says a well-educated young small-town mayor.
The Endless Civil War, Continued
"Should the people in Mississippi stay poor? I would suggest taking a serious look at the answer 'yes'." So says a reader who lives elsewhere.
Heavy Industry in the Mississippi 'Prairie':
Why Are These Factories Here?
Mapping America's Prospects, in Mississippi and Elsewhere
Images that illustrate the challenges and opportunities Americans face region-by-region
Theories of History: Joe Max Higgins & the Golden Triangle
"When Eurocopter came here, people started walking upright a little bit." Why has this part of Mississippi pulled ahead of some others?
The New Industrial Belt: The Deep South
Does America still "make things?" Come take a look ... in Mississippi.
A Song of America's Downtowns
A heartening surprise of our travel so far: the breadth, seriousness, and—in some places—success of the effort to revitalize small-town downtowns. Or, what 3 programmers from Uzbekistan taught us about America.
The Seas? The Skies? The Transformation of a Company Town, II
One economic titan has fallen, another has taken its place, but a city wants to expand its options.
The Transformation of a Company Town: St. Marys, I
What happens when the company shuts down?
What 'Career Technical' Education Looks Like
From a High School in Southern Georgia
The Parks and Recreation Theory of America's Future
What we discuss at the national level has surprisingly little to do with startup decisions. Some provocative data about where America is growing, and why.
Smaller-Town Startups: 'Stopping the Brain Drain' in SC
'People say, this is my ticket Out.' Then, they want to stay.
Welcome to Greenville and 'The Upstate'
A region that has willed its way to a new economic and civic identity.
Why Do Tech Companies End Up Where They Are?
"You get some clusters, and some stand-alone firms far from anyone else. But rarely anything in-between."
Ice Cream, Chocolate, Coffee, and Beer
Take ingredients and blend, for small-town synergy.
Luck? Planning? Karma? The Elements of a Small Town's High-Tech
A software company grows in an unlikely setting. "Why here?" we ask the founders.
On the Character of a Community: What Local Narratives Emphasize
The role of universities, and our un-loved public efforts.
A City's Turning Points
The steps toward success, or failure, and why our understanding of them matters.
From the Tree to the Table: The Journey of a Brave Little Orange
The surprising complexity behind even the simplest-seeming aspects of modern life.
A 4th-Generation Orange Farmer, on Why He Sticks With It
"I was born in the grove. I was raised in the grove. I developed an intense dislike of farming in the grove." Yet after 20 years around the world he has come back.
Inside the Packing House
Viewing an ordinary fruit with new respect.
Reports From the Road: Hangar 24 and a Student-Run Farm
The variety of America, chapter 12,825
When Rails Make the Difference, From Down East to the Southwest
The loss of rail service into a small Maine town has been crippling
Building a Museum: Report From Down East
A Maine couple defies the odds -- and helps to build community in the process.
Do You Speak Eastport?
A town teaches itself to talk positive.
America-Going-to-Hell Watch, Heady Topper Dept.
Ever closer to the magical-unicorn ideal
Small Town, Big Tides, Bigger Ambitions
Ocean Renewable Power in Eastport
The Question We Keep Running Into: What Turns a Town Around?
Plus, a nationwide golden age of beer.
A New Type of Growing City
"This is where the talent wants to live"
Back on the Bright Side: Silicon Valley in Vermont
Why did this company end up on the shores of Lake Champlain, rather than on the San Francisco Bay or Puget Sound?
On Making and Taking, in Trenton and Around the World
Respect for the Garden State and its industrial heritage.
Buying Local—the Google Angle
OK, I'm biased -- but I think this is an interesting new project.
Burlington Makes, the World Takes:
The Story of NRG Systems
From Burma to Burlington: The Story of 'Brings Luck'
A refugee finding a new life.
If You Thought a Profitable Newspaper Was Surprising, How About
More strange tales from the North Country.
Strange Tales From the North Country:
A profitable (print) newspaper
Beer Porn: The Alchemist Cannery
Going to the source, to find a highly celebrated and nearly unobtainable beer.
Romanesque on the Plains
The Look of Sioux Falls
What 'Fringe City' Status Means for a Community's Look and Feel
Sioux Falls: If you can make it there ...
A City With Its Economic Bones Revealed: The Look of Sioux Falls
What factories, cathedrals, outdoor sculpture displays, and even brewpubs tell us about a town.
Sioux Falls: It's Been a Boom Town Before
"That's why they call it a land-office business"
A Dakota Boom Town, but Not the Kind You'd Expect
Why is this boom town different from other boom towns?
Why Local Money Matters: The Middletown Story
"Absentee ownership changed everything."
'When's your birthday? January 1st Report from Sioux Falls
A school district of 60 different languages and cultures.
Welcome to Sioux Falls
A successful, energetic, rough-edged, and therefore typically American town
The Next Lesson From Holland: Why Local Money Matters
In an age of globalized companies and relentless focus on "shareholder value," a reminder of what local ownership can mean.
The 'Rapid' Story:
Trains, Planes, and the Making of a City
Holland: Where Things Go After the Recycling Bin
Holland makes, the world takes -- and Holland recycles too.
Welcome to Holland
And so it begins.