Seed Money for Shrinking Cities

Finding Seed Money Shrinking Cities

The problem at the root of shrinking cities is a lack of funds to consolidate space. The downfall of one property is the anchor that pulls down the value of adjacent properties, and so on until you get the picture below.


Shrinking Cities
A vacant home site in Youngstown, Ohio. (AP/Photo Mark Stahl)

Notice however that the photo also contains a pristine new road running alongside the blighted space.

This could be the missing ingredient to getting a shrinking city to stabilize about a right-sized city.

A network of low-cost transportation and linear parks would soak up the depopulated space and remobilize the people around a new engine of economic growth built on choice, access, mobility, and space.

The funds for revitalization come from transportation taxes distributed fairly on a per capita basis. This is the seed money that gets the process rolling in the right direction.
The public then decides on the spaces that need to be maintained and enhanced, and the open spaces that need to be consolidated and converted to parks, urban farms, walkways, bikeways, and share-ways (medium volume through roads that take light-duty rideshare vehicles).

List of shrinking cities

Revitalizing existing cities takes the pressure off of magnet cities while making low-cost housing available in heritage areas.

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Richard Vermeulen - Construction Economist for Green Building

Richard Vermeulen is the construction economist creating profitable sustainability in the built environment. He’s the founder of GreenLight™, author of Green at No Cost, and developer of the Total Benefit Analysis and The Value Process as well as co-CEO, lead economist, and chief estimator for Vermeulens. Richard has developed industry-leading standards for estimating and data-basing complex construction projects throughout North America. In addition to consulting for thousands of major projects over 30 years, Richard has designed and built residential and commercial projects, from hammering nails to hound-dogging bureaucracies. He has traveled extensively, always with an awareness of how cities do and don’t work.

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