The micropolis is a cohesive, human-scale community where an atmosphere of familiarity and validation is a catalyst for lively commercial and intellectual exchange. The city of between 10,000 and 50,000 people is the crucible from which the concepts of democracy, communal responsibility and free enterprise arose. It naturally forms a creative matrix that nurtures healthy lives, fostering productivity and innovation.
For over 100 years Gloversville, New York was a thriving micropolis as the center of the leather and glove industries in North America. Over the past half century, technological, economic and demographic shifts have undermined American cities, causing an exodus of jobs, people and vitality, leaving Gloversville and many other communities fragmented and unable to function. Gloversville’s decline ended a decade ago when it achieved a tenuous stability. Though diminished and weakened , it struggles to hold on to the institutions that comprise the essential ingredients of civic life. Now, at the beginning of
the 21st century, changes in both technology and popular attitudes have opened a window of opportunity to restore the vitality of these communities by establishing a stable, localized economic and civic life, providing a buffer against the volatility of world conditions.
This book explains civic integrity, why we lost it, and how citizens can seize the opportunity to rebuild it. The reestablishment of the micropolis as a healthy, productive and sustainable human community will allow it to again provide the creative energy for a healthy American future.