Our friend and former colleague Cathy Tumber has written a piece about "the role of neglected cities in a sustainable future" for the latest issue of the Boston Review. While she doesn't mention Portland, or Maine, she very well could have - she discusses small cities near good agricultural land that could become central to low-carbon, low-impact living in a world with increasing numbers of humans.
Here's just an excerpt to help you understand why you - and everyone who holds public office in Portland, or is interested in the community's future - should read her piece:
Smaller cities have idiosyncratic charms of their own–worthy of
sustained attention and renewal. And, fortuitously, they have a
distinctive and vital role to play in the work of the new century:
smaller cities will be critical in the move to local agriculture and
the development of renewable energy industries. These tasks will almost
certainly require a dramatic rethinking of land–use policy, and smaller
cities have assets that large cities lack. Their underused or vacant
industrial space and surrounding tracts of farmland make them ideal
sites for sustainable land-use policies.