Lessons for Shrinking Cities from Youngstown, Ohio

The city of Youngstown, Ohio has lost 60 percent of its population since the 1960s. The Youngstown 2010 plan attempted to redevelop a new, smaller city, but how well has it accomplished its goals so far?
Linda Waldrop / Shutterstock

Recently faculty members from the University of Michigan’s Ford School Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy hosted a panel called “Lessons from Youngstown: Planning for a Smaller, Greener City,” in the process analyzing the impacts of the Youngstown 2010 Plan.

The Youngstown 2010 Plan, according to a recent article by Maya Kalman, “aimed to involve the community in enhancing the rapidly shrinking city.” Moreover, “[Youngstown 2010] differs from most urban plans, which generally focus on community and population growth.”

“Located among the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Youngstown was a center for steel production until the industry began to decline in the 1970s. Urban planners have recently approached the city about looking for ways to redevelop a mid-sized city from a once larger metropolis.”

The faculty panel reported both strengths and weaknesses to the plan’s approach. Included in the plan's strengths: acceptance of the city's decline. The article also describes the Youngstown case study as a model for other shrinking cities, such as Detroit.

Full Story: Urban policy experts analyze Youngstown plan


Brand new! Urban Grid City Collection

Each city has its own unique story. Commemorate where you came from or where you want to go.
Grids and Guide Red book cover

Grids & Guides

A notebook for visual thinkers. Available in red and black.
City Plate table setting

New Arrival! City Plates

City downtown cores printed on gorgeous decorative collectible porcelain plates.
Blockitecture - Garden City

Just In! Get the Garden City Expansion

New from Blockitecture! Create towers, cities, and dwellings with this set of architectural building blocks.