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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School


First Advisor

Hilary Hungerford


As global and local populations rise, pressure is building on urban areas to accommodate more people. In the United States, much of the urban growth has taken place on the fringe of metropolitan areas in a low density form commonly referred to as sprawl. This low density development creates stress on the environment, economy, and social fabric; therefore it is an undesirable and unsustainable form of development. The alternative to sprawl development is increasing density, but this has been a difficult task to accomplish for urban planners. Lately, many people have been returning to central cities, as young creative professionals desire to live nearby places of work and entertainment. The City of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, has experienced some of this revitalization of its central city. I look at the work that city planners have recommended and implemented to transform the downtown area into a place where people want to live, work, and play. Much of this work happened after the 2002 adoption of the 2015 Downtown Plan, and my research follows this timeline through 2013. My research is directed to understanding what aspects of downtown have been altered to create an inviting place, how people’s perceptions of place changed in light of downtown development, and what signs can be seen that show revitalization in downtown Sioux Falls. Newspaper headlines and letters to the editor show that interest in downtown is increasing. A survey that was administered to downtown patrons Provides evidence that people actively use downtown and their perception of downtown is better today than in the past. Data was also collected from building permits and tax assessments on block groups to show how investments in downtown are high and that values of property are increasing. This local case study of Sioux Falls, South Dakota mirrors national trends for downtown revitalizations. This research supports the idea that revitalization can be possible or assisted by planning and creating places where people want to be.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

City planning -- South Dakota -- Sioux Falls Urban renewal -- South Dakota -- Sioux Falls Central business districts -- South Dakota -- Sioux Falls


Includes bibliographical references (pages 140-147)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright