Youngstown: the struggle to shrink to prosperity

As DC.StreetsBlog reports, about 10 years ago, Youngstown, Ohio created a community plan designed to help the city cope with a massive downsizing of its economy and population:

The city would start by tearing down the abandoned houses that depressed neighboring property values and acted as magnets for crime. Their hope was that some neighborhoods could be depopulated and that the city might even be able to tear out some underutilized streets, in order to dispense with sending around the plows and the patch crews. This revolutionary “right-sizing” concept has since been embraced by cities like Detroit and Flint, Michigan.

But things didn’t go quite as planned:

The plan was called Youngstown 2010, but now — in 2011 — the city of Youngstown is just getting around to removing its first street. Part of the problem is that the state, regional and national policy framework is still oriented for growth. After all, Youngstown can’t go to the Ohio Department of Transportation and ask for money to tear out roads — yet. ODOT’s money is for building roads, and that fuels a dynamic that threatens what progress has made in Youngstown.

You can read the full story here.

Via Planetizen.

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