Saturday, October 29, 2016

How Tech Helped Winston-Salem Shake Tobacco

My latest installment for POLITICO Magazine's "What Works" series is on how the manufacturing city of Winson-Salem, North Carolina reinvented itself as an arts-and-science hub as cigarette manufacturing diminished and local companies were gobbled up by conglomerates. It's a remarkable story of collaboration between a traditional patriarchy, research scientists, city officials and punk rockers.

This is my eighth full-length "What Works" piece this year. The others were on how Des Moines went from dull to cool; how Manchester, New Hampshire turned its vast 19th century millyard to spinning high-tech gold; on how Denver built its game-changing light rail system, only to discover its most powerful effects were not what they'd expected; how Cincinnati transformed "America's most dangerous neighborhood"; how Philadelphia repurposed a 1200 acre former naval base;  how Milwaukee breathed life back into a legacy industrial district, creating the manufacturing park of the future, and how Roanoke, Virginia went from a train city to a brain city. In addition -- on the occasion of the Republican National Convention -- I had this shorter story on how Cleveland revamped its long-neglected Public Square.

What city is next? Here's a hint: Bernie Sanders.

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