Rust Belt Cities

January 23, 2016, 5am PST
The usual litany of Rust Belt woes hit North Braddock, Pennsylvania particularly hard. The Pittsburgh suburb has shed two-thirds of its population and is burdened with 350 abandoned properties.
Belt Magazine
Blog post
April 29, 2015, 2pm PDT
The enthusiasm of Detroit's new civic leadership, who engineered its bankruptcy and set up its recovery, is infectious. How the city will ultimately fare, and how other troubled cities learn from Detroit's mistakes, remains to be seen.
Josh Stephens
April 27, 2015, 6am PDT
In this long-form article, G.M. Donley reminds us why walkable and diverse communities have become such a planning staple. In Cleveland, New Urbanism contends with a history of sprawl and decreasing population.
Belt Magazine
March 27, 2015, 7am PDT
Author Catherine Tumbler writes on how this Rust Belt city on Lake Erie is attempting to capitalize on its past, reverse its mistakes, and build a greener economy.
The Baffler
February 4, 2015, 7am PST
Journalist's Resource provides a one-stop shop for research on the subject of policies to regenerate urban areas once in decline.
Journalist's Resource
November 1, 2014, 1pm PDT
A recent post identifies a sweet spot in the urban market: affordable cities like Cincinnati and others in the Rust Belt that provide an attractive alternative to more expensive, if more famous, cities on the coasts.
New Geography
September 9, 2014, 9am PDT
Youngstown had been one of those Rust Belt, "shrinking" cities long noted in Planetizen, but thanks in part to fracking and its location on the Utica shale formation, manufacturing has returned and unemployment has dropped by half since 2010.
The New York Times - Business Day
June 6, 2014, 7am PDT
Joel Kotkin picks up on the findings of a study released in March from Cleveland State University about the city's net increase in young, well-educated population and recommends a regional approach to ensuring that the growth sticks.
Forbes
April 25, 2014, 1pm PDT
Although Milwaukee had been insulated from population loss compared to many other legacy cities, the Great Recession has required the city to launch an $11.6 million blight reduction program.
Next City
February 22, 2014, 11am PST
The populations of at least a dozen major cities declined by more than ten percent between 2000 and 2010, including Buffalo, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Detroit. How best to regenerate those “legacy cities” is a matter of no small amount of debate.
Cato @ Liberty
October 14, 2013, 8am PDT
While London struggles with "supergentrification" and rising home prices, England's rust belt cities suffer from long-term decline and the withdraw of public spending. How can these places find their post-industrial footing?
The Economist
August 20, 2013, 1pm PDT
Community resistance stopped plans for widening Hamburg, New York's Main Street. By embracing calmer streets, the town is flourishing and once again enjoying comparisons to the idyllic Bedford Falls of 'It's a Wonderful Life.'
The New York Times
June 27, 2012, 7am PDT
Richey Piiparinen says that in one obvious way, gentrification isn't a problem in the Rust Belt (that being housing prices, which are comfortably low pretty much everywhere). A true intermingling of racial and ethnic groups is happening, he argues.
RustWire
June 12, 2012, 8am PDT
Downtown Cleveland has been polished up over the past few years. David C. Barnett has the rust belt revival success story.
NPR Morning Edition
May 17, 2012, 10am PDT
In search of cheap rent and an urban experience with some <em>bona fide</em> street cred, young people are making the move out to the Rust Belt, Will Doig reports.
Salon
February 25, 2012, 5am PST
Detroit native Pete Saunders makes the case that poor planning put the nail in Motown's casket.
Urbanophile
December 11, 2011, 9am PST
William Bostwick explores how locally-sourced, niche product manufacturing could help the Rust Belt rise.
Fast Company
November 10, 2010, 10am PST
Pittsburgh is the new poster child for recovery, the city that managed to turn around its economic struggles. Ben Schulman digs in to figure out if how the myth meets reality.
SustainableCitiesCollective
Blog post
September 3, 2010, 8am PDT

A couple of years ago, I was listening to a friend explain why she left Rochester for Jacksonville. "I was tired of digging my car out of the snow." It occurred to me that the nexus between driving and winter weather may at least partially explain the decline of America’s northern Rust Belt.

Here’s why: car care and storage makes snow a bigger bother than might otherwise be the case: if you don’t have a heated garage, you have to dig your car out of the snow every day, and if you park on the street you may have to constantly move your car to accommodate municipal snow removal.

Michael Lewyn
August 17, 2010, 5am PDT
After decades of decline in their populations, young creative types are fueling the rebirth of Rust Belt cities.
The New York Times