Shrinking Cities



All shrinking cities are not created equal as each city has its own unique challenges and opportunities. In each shrinking city, some neighborhoods are doing well while others are in economic distress, and those neighborhoods could be right next to each other. Because neighborhoods are in varying degrees of distress and they all have unique characteristics, innovative, neighborhood-specific strategies are needed to address the challenge.

One of the ways to find out about the appropriate strategies to use is through research and to share that information with others; that is why this website is created.

The research works that we have gathered are both applied and academic.

The Research part of our website is organized into 4 sections:
Research Briefs, which are written by VT MURP students,
Sources by Topics,
Sources by List,and
Links to websites and blogs that address the shrinking cities and sustianability topics.


Cleveland's neighborhoods exemplify the challenges noted above. Though there are vacant homes and contaminated lots in the city, there are also institutional and architectural assetts.  (The Dennis Keating interview below talks about community development corporations and neighborhood planning in Cleveland, OH.)

Downtown Cleveland. Photo by OAu-Vang


     Contaminated lot, Cleveland. Photo by JBennett


VT interviews with some of the leading researchers in the field

Joseph Schilling (VT Metropolitan Institute) interviews Dennis Keating (Professor at Cleveland State) about the role of community development corporations (CDCs) and neighborhood planning in Cleveland, OH (Oct. 2009).

Michael Hill (VT MLA) interviews Margaret Dewar (Professor at UMich), who explains her current research and right-sizing strategies in Shrinking Cities (Oct. 2009).