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Flexin' the City

Think you know the face of urban America? The U.S. city is in for a workout.

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This story appears in the May 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Whatever rises from Ground Zero, there's no question the idea of redevelopment has spurred a rethinking of the American city. But what will that city look like? And how will entrepreneurs fit into it? If we look to the past, the answer to both questions may be: better.

New York City isn't the first to be reborn from catastrophe. Chicago hatched itself as a metropolis of stone, steel and industry after the 1871 fire destroyed most of its wooden structures. San Francisco's elevated Embarcadero Freeway, damaged in the 1989 earthquake, was later demolished, and what were once blocks of urban decay have been rebuilt into a vibrant new area full of homes and businesses. Similar developments are happening across the country due to urban renewal, redevelopment of old industrial sites and general rethinking of what a city is.

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