Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The exciting future of Youngstown, OH

After 40 years of population loss and tough economic times, the population of Youngstown has fallen to about 80,000 people, fully half of its population high. While many might consider this a depressing end to a once thriving metropolis, Youngstown, Ohio has decided not to fret. Instead, Youngstown is reinventing itself, creating an exciting future by focusing on becoming a great place to live.

Youngstown 2010 is an exciting vision that challenges the dearly held American value that bigger is always better, that urban sprawl is good.

As more and more of the city's land is falling under control of the tax assesor because of delinquencies, the people of Youngstown are using this as an opportunity to revisualize their city. Instead of a sprawling city with lots of vacant lots, Youngstown 2010 is about coming to terms with being a smaller city, and finding ways to create a more sustainable city. They are rethinking where future development should occur, where infrastructure and services should be provided, and the best ways to utilize the cities assets.

I applaud the people of Youngstown for undertaking this amazing journey! If the initiative is not hindered by petty interests, Youngstown, OH will certainly become a text book case of sustainability and smart planning.

I've never even been to Youngstown, OH, and already I am excited about what's going on there. Any preceived ideas I may hold about Youngstown have been replaced by curiosity and a hearty respect for the visionaries the call this rising city their home.

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