What if saving a rundown city wasn't about building expensive new infrastructure -- hardware, so to speak -- but instead reprogramming the existing infrastructure? Changing the software of the place? That's the analogy used by Marcus Westbury, founder of Renew Newcastle, an innovative initiative that has breathed life into the vacant downtown of that Australian city. Newcastle, which grew up around the coal and steel industries, suffers from a lot of the same problems as Rust Belt cities in the United States. Its major employers shut down in the latter half of the 20th century, its transportation systems were dismantled, …
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Sarah Goodyear has written about cities for a variety of publications, including Grist and Streetsblog. She lives in Brooklyn. She's also on Twitter.
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