Editor's note: After decades of decline, many U.S. cities are showing signs of rebirth. This three-part series examines a little of what happened to pull people and development away from cities, what's attracting them back, how shrewd private investors are spotting trends, and what institutional investment and redevelopment projects have done to bring some cities back to life. (Read Part 1, "Why cities shrink ... and grow," and Part 2, "Local knowledge key for small investors in urban areas.") If you're going to bet, bet big. That's the idea behind redevelopment efforts in many cities that have tried to restart attractively located real estate that's fallen into wretchedness and vacancy over the last 50 years. Government subsidies, public-private partnerships, huge investment cooperatives and decades-long planning go into these efforts with no guarantee of success. And yet, sometimes, the results are spectacular. From what soil does a forest grow? In Baltimore's Inner Harbor, it was ro...
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