Once-vibrant Rust Belt cities are using scattershot approaches to grapple with growing areas of vacancy caused by population decline, said Galen Newman, assistant professor of urban planning at Texas A&M, in a July 20, 2016 article in The Atlantic.
“A lot of cities are just frantically trying to handle the conditions using methods that we don't know much about, or haven't thought about the ramifications in the long run,” Newman told The Atlantic’s Alexia Fernández Campbell.
Newman is investigating planning options for shrinking cities in a research project with Justin Hollander, assistant professor of urban and environmental policy and planning at Tufts University.
They are developing a geographic information systems-based model that predicts locations of vacant land parcels in cities such as Dayton, Ohio, and Buffalo, N.Y.
“If you know which land has a higher probability of becoming vacant, then you can make a more proactive policy decision to manage it,” Newman said in The Atlantic.
In the study, Newman and Hollander, with the assistance of graduate and undergraduate planning students at Texas A&M, will also formulate planning strategies for policymakers in shrinking cities.