Is My City Shrinking?

Justin B. Hollander at Tufts University looks at the increasing shrinkage of cities like Flint, Michigan and Youngstown, Ohio and the myriad strategies these cities are taking to shrink effectively.

1 minute read

April 5, 2010, 5:00 AM PDT

By Tim Halbur


Hollander writes, "Cities around the globe have experienced depopulation or population shrinkage at an acute level in the last half century. Conventional community development and planning responses have looked to reverse the process of depopulation almost universally, with little attention paid to how neighborhoods physically change when they lose population.

This article presents an approach to study the physical changes of depopulating neighborhoods in a novel way. The approach considers how population decline creates different physical impacts (more or less housing abandonment, for example) across different neighborhoods. Data presented from a detailed case study of Flint, Michigan, illustrate that population decline can be more painful in some neighborhoods than in others, suggesting that this article's proposed approach may be useful in implementing smart decline."

Link is to a downloadable PDF of the full article.

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