Baltimore: A Case Study in Sustainable Economic Development

Baltimore: A Case Study in Sustainable Economic Development

  • Case
  • Teaching Notes
  • Supplementary Resources

The case considers Baltimore’s present socio-economic situation as a postindustrial city. Declining growth, population flight, increasing poverty and unemployment as well as violence and crime rates are presented as consequences of the city’s loss of mainly steel-related industrial production sites. Beginning in the late 1970’s, city leaders began to pursue a strategy of redevelopment that was intended to lay the foundations of Baltimore’s postindustrial economy.

A number of prestigious high-end commercial real estate projects have been completed around the harbor in order to build a tourism industry, create a thriving retail market and attract large companies to the city. The most recent addition to this strategy is presented by the Harbor Point development, an office space and real estate project that enjoys generous tax breaks and public funding. This case addresses in how far the Harbor Point development in its current set up presents a viable solution strategy to the city’s problems. The mayors office and city council, Baltimore’s business community and its struggling low income neighborhoods are the main actors in this story.

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