Richmond Learns To Grow Smaller, Smarter

<p>Richmond, Virginia is one of many cities using innovative strategies to deal with the consequences of a shrinking population.</p>
December 28, 2006, 1pm PST | Christian Madera | @cpmadera
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"Richmond's population has lost 56,000 since its peak in 1970, when it had 250,000 residents, and the city is finally coming to terms with it. Green space is replacing boarded-up houses. Small single-family homes are rising where crowded cinderblock apartment buildings once stood. Singles and couples are moving into rehabilitated homes that once housed families of eight.

Slowly, old American cities that have been in a downward population spiral for a half-century or more are reinventing themselves as, well, smaller cities. They're starting to adopt -- many, like Richmond, do it unknowingly - tenets of the burgeoning, European-born 'Shrinking Cities' movement. The idea: If cities can grow in a smart way, they can also shrink smartly."

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Published on Thursday, December 28, 2006 in USA Today
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