The Michigan Cool Cities Pilot Program and Urban Development Theory
Bowman, Matthew J.
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In 2003, Michigan Governor Granholm announced plans for a Cool Cities Initiative, which is aimed at retaining and attracting young workers to Michigan. This program is a response to urban development and revitalization theory, most notably the recent work of Richard Florida. His creative capital theory formed the theoretical underpinnings of Governor Granholm's proposal. However, the Cool Cities program is based on a wide range of literature, including social capital theory, human capital theory, and Jane Jacobs' seminal work on urban environments. Although the program has been hailed by many, it has its detractors, who feel that government should not interfere with the natural development process. Whether the Cool Cities Initiative is successful in revitalizing Michigan's cities remains to be seen. However, the program's success will most likely be limited to drawing attention to the need for further urban development, and perhaps providing the impetus for more private investment.