Where Do We Fit In? CDCs and the Emerging Shrinking City Movement

As some cities begin to admit they are shrinking, CDCs in high-abandonment neighborhoods are rethinking their traditional roles, and even their missions.

6 Apr 2011 - Alan Mallach, Shelterforce

There’s nothing new about shrinking cities. Many American cities have been losing population steadily since the 1950s and 1960s, as suburbanization, deindustrialization, and migration to the Sun Belt have all taken their toll. Detroit has lost a million people since 1950, a decline of 54 percent, and vast areas of open land where pheasants strut through the underbrush have replaced houses, stores, and factories. Other cities, including Youngstown, Cleveland, Dayton, and Buffalo, are in the same boat.

What is new is that more and more cities are coming out and admitting that they are shrinking. In the early 1990s, when Detroit’s city ombudsman, Marie Farrell-Donaldson, a respected African-American civic leader, called for the city to recognize that it was shrinking and begin to act accordingly, the response was a mixture of anger and ridicule. Today, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing has embraced shrinkage and set a planning process in motion that explicitly recognizes that the future Detroit will be a smaller, greener city than it once was. Continued[+]...

> Read the full Shelterforce article.

Article Type: News