49:32 minutes (23.78 MB)
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When the talk turns to downtowns - especially in the northeast and maybe especially here in Connecticut - one word pops up in every conversation and document. Renaissance.
If belligerent aliens flew their space ship over a northeastern city and blasted the whole downtown to smithereens leaving a giant crater, the Worcester Downtown Renaissance Committee would be formed about 72 hours later. It's a lovely sentiment, but you know what didn't get started that way? The Renaissance.
Europeans did not form a quasi-public entity dedicated to sparking a resurgence of learning tied to classical sources. And if they had, Da Vinci would have spent a lot more time sketching parking garages. Another term you see a lot is critical mass. The idea there is that downtowns often need so much help that, if you were wondering whether you were doing too much at once, the answer is no. You still need more. But more what? That's today's show.
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