Masters Thesis

How Bakersfield, Fresno, and Visalia use redevelopment for inner city development

Background The purpose of this comparative case study is to analyze how three California cities Bakersfield, Fresno, and Visalia, are using redevelopment programs and projects for inner city development to offset suburban development. For purposes of this paper, the term inner city refers to the central core of the city, not necessarily an area where residents are less educated and more impoverished. The hypothesis is redevelopment was intended by the California Legislature to revitalize deteriorating and blighted areas of inner city areas. Are redevelopment efforts succeeding to encourage inner city development? Literature Review Not much literature has been written on how redevelopment has contributed towards the reversal of urban sprawl. Most literature concentrates on the perceived negative aspects of redevelopment pertaining to eminent domain, diverting taxes from schools to redevelopment agencies, the abuses of redevelopment by certain agencies, and the large amount of tax increment collected by redevelopment agencies. Research Study and Analysis Bakersfield, Fresno, and Visalia are reviewed in this comparative case study based on pattern matching analysis. All three have active redevelopment plans, projects, and programs. The method of analysis will compare the evidence of local policies, budgets, plans, projects, and programs. Data collection will be analyzed and presented in separate chapters for each city. The importance of the study is to identify what inner city programs and projects are being used in the three cities. Identifying which programs are working is an important tool for practitioners and the public to help with resource allocation for more effective and efficient inner city redevelopment. The objective of using the budgets and implementation plans for each city is to standardized public data available for each agency. No interviews or surveys were conducted. Conclusion, Findings and Recommendations Several recommendations are included in this case study. The public sector must continue to expand the redevelopment of inner cities so further decline can be reversed. This can only occur with investment from the public and private sectors. If city governments and community citizens do not vocally support inner city redevelopment, these three cities will continue to sprawl as demonstrated by growth patterns in Bakersfield and Fresno. Visalia because of its smaller size and emphasis on community involvement was the best role model of inner city redevelopment. Public policy must continue to monitor and encourage inner city redevelopment by clarifying and continually emphasizing the importance of its goals that can help to reverse urban sprawl.

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