From big to small cities: a qualitative analysis of the causes and outcomes of post-recession municipal bankruptcies
Two cities loom large in the history of American urban restructuring. New York City's 1975 technical bankruptcy and Detroit's 2013 Chapter 9 bankruptcy have played an oversized role in urban theory. This is currently reflected in competing theories of post-recession urban restructuring. “Austerity urbanism” uses Detroit as an exemplar, whereas “pragmatic municipalism” adopts the converse position arguing post-recession reform is defined by local context. This paper draws on the small cities literature to generate a different account of recent municipal bankruptcies and their broader impacts. It uses qualitative methods to survey the causes and outcomes of all eight post-recession Chapter 9 bankruptcies. The research recognizes the potential nationwide significance of these extreme events but avoids focusing on big city examples. The paper's findings suggest small and medium sized cities play a significant role in shaping recession-related restructuring.
City and Community
Davidson, Mark, "From big to small cities: a qualitative analysis of the causes and outcomes of post-recession municipal bankruptcies" (2020). Geography. 92.