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Shovel Ready: Razing Hopes, History, and a Sense of Place:
Rethinking Schenectady's Downtown Strategies

[This information is from Shovel Ready: Razing Hopes, History, and a Sense of Place: Rethinking Schenectady's Downtown Strategies, a master's thesis in city planning by Christopher Patrick Spencer (MIT, 2001), and is reproduced with his permission. It is in the Schenectady Collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at Schdy R 711 Spe.]

by Christopher Patrick Spencer,
BS in Historic Preservation, Roger Williams University, Bristol, Rhode Island (1998)

Submitted to the Department of Urban Studies and Planning in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master in City Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, June 2001

© 2001 Christopher Patrick Spencer. All Rights Reserved.

The author hereby grants to MIT permission to reproduce and to distribute paper and electronic copies of this document in whole or in part.

Table of Contents
Abstract3
Acknowledgments5
Introduction and Thesis Outline9
Section I: Background on Downtowns15
Chapter 1: Downtown Growth and Decline17
Chapter 2: Schenectady's Downtown Story29
Chapter 3: Character, Image, and Other Reasons Downtown is Important39
Section II: Schenectady's Planning Background49
Chapter 4: Urban Renewal and Yesterday's "Town of Tomorrow"51
Chapter 5: Assumptions and Directions and an Overall Vision63
Chapter 6: Rethinking the 22 Block Urban Renewal Project73
Chapter 7: Other Projects to Learn From81
Section III: Schenectady's Future93
Chapter 8: A Tale of Two Downtowns95
Chapter 9: Understanding Downtown's Direction103
Chapter 10: New Initiatives for an Old Downtown117
Findings and Conclusions135
Chapter Endnotes145
Bibliography155
Illustration Credits161

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