How Stagnating Cities can Prepare for the Future

Updated: Jun 24, 2019

How stagnating cities can prepare for the future: Aaron M. Renn March 2019


This paper highlights a group of deeply troubled metropolitan areas whose defining characteristic is a population of fewer than 1 million and a core, or central, city that has lost 20% or more of its population from peak. These metropolises also share similar unfavorable demographic and economic conditions. To be sure, major American cities such as Detroit, Cleveland, and St. Louis have also experienced significant, even severe, economic problems. But they have human and capital assets that can serve as the basis for turnarounds. Smaller, lesser-known cities such as Saginaw, Michigan, Danville, Illinois, and Johnstown, Pennsylvania, face far more intractable circumstances.

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Level 23, 45 Clarence Street

Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia

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