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Cities and Partnerships for Sustainable Urban Development

Cities and Partnerships for Sustainable Urban Development

Edited by Peter Karl Kresl

Over the past two decades, sustainability has become a principal concern for city administrators. It is a more than just environmental entailing economic, demographic, governance, social, and amenity aspects. After a short introduction to some theory, this book provides broad coverage of these aspects and their manifestations in Asia, Africa, Europe and North America. The contributors discuss, in detail, topics surrounding measurement, growth strategy, citizen participation, revitalization, and competitiveness. Though each of the cities discussed – ranging from Shanghai, to Barcelona, to Montreal – are distinct, there are similarities that connect them all. The book highlights their common elements to provide a feasible outcome for sustainable urban development.

Chapter 12: Partnerships in a small university town

Peter Karl Kresl

Subjects: economics and finance, urban economics, urban and regional studies, cities, urban economics


The issue of partnerships is a recognition of the interrelatedness of contemporary economic activities. It forces us to understand that entities – whether firms, educational institutions, cultural institutions, local governments or the whole array of non-governmental organizations – function best when they can pool their ideas, strengths and aspirations with other organizations. This interrelatedness can be found at all levels of society from the community to international organizations. In this chapter I will explore how this interaction among local actors can have positive consequences in a small university town in Pennsylvania, USA, both for the town and for the participating entities. To begin with I discuss the notion of partnerships. Then I will turn to a brief description of the town I will examine: Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. The major part of the chapter will consist of an examination of the sorts of interrelationships that have been created in this environment and what this has meant for the participants. While Lewisburg is very specific in its characteristics and therefore cannot offer us universal truths, it is one of scores of small university or college towns in the US, so the conclusions from this case study do have implications that go far beyond the town itself. The system of higher education in the US was created in the seventeenth century by private entities, principally religious organizations.

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