Abstract: This study examines factors contributing to the active or inactive status of Main Street communities in Kentucky. Data were gathered on 37 Main Street communities from 1979-1999. A logistic regression analysis revealed that three variables—downtown business vacancy rates; whether or not the town was within the sphere of influence of a metropolitan area; and the composition of the Main Street board leadership—were the most important predictors of on-going Main Street activity. It was determined that more rural Main Street communities were better able than their urban counterparts to manifest the "tyranny of space" (i.e., the potential to gain excessive entrepreneurial profits) that Lösch's version of central place theory struggled so hard to eliminate. These more isolated small municipalities were successful in sustaining economic revitalization efforts because they were not in direct competition with larger urban areas. It was further surmised that the leadership approach of Main Street participants differed in the active and inactive communities, which additionally explain the active/inactive status in these municipalities.
Southeastern Geographer – University of North Carolina Press
Published: Jul 3, 2002
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