Strategies for Revitalizing Smaller Post-Industrial Cities

For every Pittsburgh or Cleveland success story, there's a story waiting to be told in smaller cities like Gary and Lowell.

1 minute read

September 8, 2017, 8:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Downtown Flint Michigan along Saginaw Street

Tony Faiola / flickr

According to an article on the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy blog, "from Gary, Indiana, to Lowell, Massachusetts, smaller post-industrial cities are taking strategic steps to regenerate."

The path taken by such small "Legacy Cities" is the subject of a new report from the Lincoln Institute and the Greater Ohio Policy Center.

"The report, Revitalizing America’s Smaller Legacy Cities, by Torey Hollingsworth and Alison Goebel, examines at 24 cities with populations of 30,000 to 200,000 across seven midwestern and northeastern states: Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts."

According to the post, each of the stories are unique, but they also share some common traits. The report also suggests eight strategies for revitalization, with more detail in the article and, obviously, the report:

  • Build civic capacity and talent
  • Encourage a shared public- and private-sector vision.
  • Expand opportunities for low-income workers
  • Build on an authentic sense of place
  • Focus regional efforts on rebuilding a strong downtown
  • Engage in community and strategic planning
  • Stabilize distressed neighborhoods
  • Strategically leverage state policies

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