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Changes at Military Bases: A Community Planning Challenge

A closed military base is often the single greatest economic development asset to befall a community. Suddenly a major airfield, port facility, or commercial and industrial space becomes available, with built-in support infrastructure. Base land and buildings also offer an opportunity to satisfy unmet requirements for affordable housing, community facilities, and services. Most major bases have a variety of housing units, recreation, health care, and education facilities that could be used to establish or expand these services in the area affected by base closure. In short, a closing military base presents a menu of opportunities from which to select that can have a major positive effect on the future of the community surrounding the closing base.

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