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?

March 23, 2014, 1:00 PM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Youngstown, Ohio

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.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014 in Michigan Daily

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