SOUTH BEND — South Bend is now an All-America City. The award is presented by the National Civic League to 10 cities each year that demonstrates innovation and describes successful efforts to address local challenges.
This comes only months after South Bend was labeled a dying city by Newsweek Magazine. So how can a city be so good and so bad at the same time?
"Both the National Civic League and Newsweek used very different criteria to describe this community," said Jeff Rea, president of the Chamber of Commerce of St. Joseph County.
To win the All-America City designation from the National Civic League, South Bend was judged on 3 projects.
- The revitalization of the northeast neighborhood.
- The transformation of the former Engman Natatorium into the Indiana University South Bend Civil Rights Heritage Center.
- The development of 212-degree STARS, used to reduce high-school dropout rates.
Newsweek's Dying City label was based more on statistics. Claiming a decrease in population over a 10 year period forecasts a bleak future for the city. But all those things paint only a small portion of South Bend's picture.