Bridges

Bridges Fall 2013

Bridges is a quarterly review of regional community and economic development issues, projects and regulatory changes for practitioners from community-based organizations, as well as for Community Reinvestment Act officers, academics and government of

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LINKING LENDERS AND COMMUNITIES FALL 2013 P U BL I S H E D Q UA RT E R LY BY T H E C O M MU N I T Y DEVELOPMENT BRIDGES D E PA RTM E N T OF T H E F E D E R A L R E S E RV E B A N K O F S T. L O U I S INDEX 4 Women Helping Women: Healing Hearts Bank at Redevelopment Opportunities for Women 5 Finding Ways to Help Individuals Achieve Financial Well-Being Increasing Density: 8 M uch has been written recently about the decline in population in rural areas of the United States. About 83 percent of U.S. residents now live in metropolitan areas, and this trend is expected to continue to increase into the future. By 2030, about 14 percent of the U.S. population will live in rural areas, and by 2050 the rural population will be down to only 11 percent, according to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.1 Some of this decline is due to nonmetropolitan areas becoming newly urbanized by increasing their populations above 50,000 people. Such was the case in 2010 when the census identified 36 newly urbanized areas. (See Figure 1 on Page 2.) THE Is all lost for small-town America? Should we all just pack up and move to the city? Not only is population decline itself negatively affecting many small towns, but associated issues exacerbate the impact. With population decline comes decreased tax revenue and often less money from state and federal sources, especially in times of budget cuts and a shifting global economy. If the population of nonmetropolitan areas continues to decline and urban areas continue to gain population, how will small towns compete for jobs and residents in the future? Certainly, reversing negative population trends is one of the keys to continued economic growth, but it can be an overwhelming task. One possible strategy: Focus on increasing population density in small towns. FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF S T. CENTRAL TO AMERICA'S TABLE 1 State Population Density (per sq. mile) WV 4,634 Lititz PA 4,056 Glenwood Springs CO 1,692 Flagler Beach FL 1,225 Watkins Glen NY 1,720 Traveler's Rest SC 1,012 Camden ME 949 Greenville KY 932 Mount Carroll IL 851 Le Claire IA 806 Elkhart Lake WI 758 Bay St. Louis MS 630 Gulf Shores AL 421 Quincy CA 408 Put-in-Bay OH 305 Town Why density? As people and talent are attracted to the economic opportunities, accessibility to work and entertainment, and other lifestyle factors offered by many urban areas, smaller towns may benefit by incorporating some of these same factors into their community and economic development strategies. Even some suburbs are starting to incorporate higher densities and more urban principles into their designs. As Steve Yoder wrote in The Fiscal Times regarding the growth of Bellevue, Wash., "Not long ago, density, walkability and access to public transit were more associated with cities than suburbs. But as more people flock to the cities, and many outer suburbs struggle, some suburbs have found a formula that's helped them grow as fast as their urban siblings—create a downtown core that lets them LOUIS: Fresh Perspectives in Community Development: A Survey of LIHTC and the Eighth Federal Reserve District Budget Travel's "America's Coolest Small Towns 2013" A Small-Town Approach to New Urbanism By Andrew A. Pack w w w. s t lo ui sfed . or g ECONOMY Shepherdstown Average density: 1,325 SOURCES: Budget Travel, U.S. Census Bureau combine the city's culture, street life and walkability with their own lower crime rates and good public services." Creating continued on Page 2 ™

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