How U.S. Shrinking Cities Plan for Change: Comparing Population Projections and Planning Strategies in Depopulating U.S. Cities

Megan E. Heim LaFrombois, Yunmi Park, Daniel Yurcaba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

This research examines the mismatch between the reality of a city’s population loss and the planning strategies they have adopted. Thirty-five depopulating U.S. cities’ comprehensive plans are analyzed to determine whether they are acknowledging past depopulation trends, how they are projecting future population changes, and what planning strategies they are pursuing in light of their depopulation trends. Findings illustrate a majority of cities acknowledge depopulation; however, they rely on optimistic population projections for the future. Despite this, a mix of planning strategies, ranging from smart decline to pro-growth, are used regardless of a city’s acknowledgment/acceptance of population loss.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Planning Education and Research
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2019

Keywords

  • depopulating cities
  • plan evaluation
  • planning for depopulation
  • shrinking cities
  • smart decline

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