By 2006, most of the steel mills in Youngstown, Ohio, had been gone for decades. The population was shrinking year after year. So the city launched a bold plan to redeem itself.
The plan: Quit trying to redeem itself….Youngstown walked away from the most fundamental assumption of economic development and city planning: The idea that a city needs to grow.
“We needed as a city to recognize that we’re a smaller city,” says Bill D’Avignon, head of Youngstown city planning. “We’re not going to grow; we’re never going to be the Youngstown we thought we were going to be.”