While journalists document the decline of small-town America and scholars describe the ascent of such global cities as New York and Los Angeles, the fates of little cities remain a mystery. What about places like Providence, Rhode Island; Green Bay, Wisconsin; Laredo, Texas; and Salinas, California—the smaller cities that constitute much of America’s urban landscape? In Small Cities USA
, Jon R. Norman examines how such places have fared in the wake of the large-scale economic, demographic, and social changes that occurred in the latter part of the twentieth century.
Drawing on an assessment of eighty small cities between 1970 and 2000, Norman considers the factors that have altered the physical, social, and economic landscapes of such places. These cities are examined in relation to new patterns of immigration, shifts in the global economy, and changing residential preferences. Small Cities USA presents the first large-scale comparison of smaller cities over time in the United States, showing that small cities that have prospered over time have done so because of diverse populations and economies. These "glocal" cities, as Norman calls them, are doing well without necessarily growing into large metropolises.