Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Planning, Development, and Preservation

Committee Member

Carter Hudgins, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Richard Gilmore

Committee Member

Robert Benedict


With the collapse of industry in combination with suburban sprawl, American cities nationwide experienced an economic recession in the early 1980s. To counter this recession, local governments pursued a range of revitalization policies. These public policies secured various levels of success in the cities working to bring their downtowns back to life. Creating a strategy for revitalization is a difficult process and has been approached differently all over the country. Public policies directly affect the residents and development in a city, inherently making them a representation of the city’s priorities. Macon, Georgia has pursued a revitalization strategy that centers around the tourism. In contrast, Greenville, South Carolina adopted a strategy that emphasized an enhanced quality of life for the city’s residents. The two cities also share many characteristics: a history of industry associated with the New South Movement, proximity to interstates, and a river that played a role in the industrial development. This thesis is a comparative study of the revitalization public policies pursued by Macon and Greenville. Based on analysis of city plans and financial reports from 1990-2017, this thesis addresses a seemingly simple question: When revitalizing, who should the priority, residents or tourists?



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