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Tough Love to Reinvigorate Heartland Cities

‘If criticism comes from the outside, it’s not valid. We are the real America.’ Unfortunately, that attitude advances no one and in a nation built on diversity, the tone is essentially contra-American. Frustratingly, this if often the widespread attitude towards criticism and efforts to revitalize cities in some parts of the heartland. Disregarding a broadly held perception does no harm to those who hold it, it only harms the entity the perception to which it is aimed. These tendencies can stifle a city’s growth potential, particularly those grappling with post-industrial decline. There are stories of tremendous success, but there are still too many cases of delusions of grandeur, denial of


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