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Jonathan Potts

City officials, in Pittsburgh and elsewhere, proceed from the false assumption that the decline of their downtowns are a cause of their cities' problems, not a symptom of them. Often, Downtown revilitizations are aimed at making cities apppealing to tourists and other visitors, when the goal should be making cities a decent place to live and a friendly place to do business. This often entails the difficult tasks of reigning in spending and cutting taxes, fixing streets and improving schools. It's too tempting to look for the quick fix, and take credit for projects whose failure may not be realized until the elected officials who approved them are out of office or dead.

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