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Which declining cities turning around the fastest?

  • Philadelphia, PA

    Votes: 63 25.7%
  • Baltimore, MD

    Votes: 48 19.6%
  • Washington, DC

    Votes: 25 10.2%
  • Detroit, MI

    Votes: 24 9.8%
  • Cleveland, OH

    Votes: 6 2.4%
  • Pittsburgh, PA

    Votes: 44 18.0%
  • Buffalo, NY

    Votes: 18 7.3%
  • Cincinnati, OH

    Votes: 7 2.9%
  • Lansing, MI

    Votes: 2 0.8%
  • Gary, IN

    Votes: 8 3.3%

Which dying city is making the best turnaround?

16403 Views 105 Replies 66 Participants Last post by  DC Miracle
Right now, many cities in the northeast and rust belt are on a rapid (or not so rapid) turnaround from decades of decline and decay. In your opinions or experiences, which ones are doing the best?

Judge in areas of rate of population loss, crime rates, public school systems, job creation, demographics, preservation, vacant and abandoned buildings, and overall desirability.
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Baltimore is the first city that comes to mind, but maybe that's just my bias kicking in. In fair judgment, I still think Baltimore is improving tremendously. The population trend is on a modest upward trend right now. This is in part because of the crime rate dropping 40% from 1999 (the crime rate was very high in comparison), the rehabilitation of thousands of vacant homes, conversions of old buildings into condos, and the job opportunities are improving. Baltimore actually had a healthy net gain of jobs during 2004 including jobs in the construction sector (hence in response to a construction boom) and retail. Demand for housing, which is coming mainly from DC, is so high and supply is so low property values are soaring. And because Mayor O'Malley lowered the property tax, we could see more construction in the years ahead. It's looking good so far, but the school system and homicide rate are still a mess, but the city is so much better off than it was just 5 years ago.

Buffalo - starting to see some good progress in downtown development and some new industries are starting to bloom. Bass Pro will liven up the city a little and the Medical campus should serve the city well as being a center for bioinformics.

I guess you have to look at how hard a city crashed as well, for example some old rustbelt cities took a hell of a dive back in the 60's thru the 90's like Detroit, Pittburgh, Cleveland, Toledo, Milwaukee, Buffalo, Rochester and Erie.

Considering the declines I choose Buffalo.
I would have to say, Newark New Jersey. Plus, one of the few east coast cities gaining population, not much of a gain but gaining regardless. Plus the housing construction is incredible.
I would have to agree with the proud Marylander that Baltimore is the leader in Urban Renewal for all the reasons stated. But that's just me.

Keep em coming
I don't know much about a lot of these cities except for B'more, DC, Philly, and Detroit.

I know the most about DC so I'll start off by saying that it is making a turnaround. I believe based on the last figures the pop. has dropped a little bit. It's gaining more 20-30 year olds, but it's losing those around 45 or so. The schools still suck, the crime is bad but has been and is getting better.

But, there is a lot of development going on in the city. DT has gotten a lot nicer, and it's starting to permeate. U Street is getting better, NY Ave. is another area who's potential is starting to be recognized.

Parts of SE are still relatively undeveloped and projects have been proposed and some passed. The Nationals will have a new stadium in 3 yrs on the SE waterfront, but in the meantime, the area around RFK stadium and the DC Armory may get a small boost.

There are new residential buildings going up in the booming chinatown area, DT, and in other parts of the city. I just wish SW near 95 would get better. And I wish the gap between commercial and residential development would get equal, not enough res. right now, but I can see that the gov't is just letting the business come DT, the pop. is ready to really start to come around. I'd like to see more retail too.

The DC area has the lowest unemployment rate of any metro in the country and it's economy heavily fueled by the gov't is the strongest of any of the cities up top. There is a whole lot of work to be done, but I think DC has as good a case as any of the cities up top.

Much like B'more and Detroit if you went to DC 15 yrs ago or so and just came back, you'd see a big difference. I'd really like to see Detroit, P'burgh, Philly and B'more get closer to where they once were. B'more is doing a great job, it offers a lot for people looking for a cheap place to live relative to DC, with things to do in a nice part of the country. DC and B'more have helped eachother IMO.
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Shouldn't this poll be in the United States section. Cleveland, Cincinnati, Detroit and Gary are not in the Northeast. They are in the Midwest.
I think it's a little harsh to call all of these cities "dying". Many cities in the country are experiencing population decline, some worse than others. Philadelphia, my hometown, is experiencing this in higher numbers than I would like, although many people leave the city and relocate to the suburbs, so the overall metro area population is actually increasing. The city itself is making great strides in the most important areas that are causing this decline; it is finally addressing the tax structure that causes businesses to flee for greener pastures. It has not solved the problem completely by any stretch, but they are taking some encouraging first measures.
I agree with you on B'More and DC working together in a way. I stayed at Georgetown for a week and got a good look at W and NW Washington almost everyday while riding around town. The area looks so awesome and clean. It was really pleasant seeing all the cleaned up rowhomes and apartments mixed in with all new shops. I'm glad for Washington and would like to see New York Avenue cleaned up. From experience, driving into the city from route 50, New York Avenue was a real depressing place all the way until you reached downtown. But the mixing of jobs and housing all around DC and B'More makes the metro area seem real connected. Baltimore has been helped by DC's hot job influence in the government and high-tech sectors while DC seems to be benefitted by the recreation and waterfront opportunities (whether for office space, retail, or residential) in B'more. And of course the seaport and three airports aid the entire area.
Jive, Lansing, MI too. I don't care if the thread is moved, and by dying, it just means declining, I don't think Philly is dying, but it certainly was experiencing a little decline, so I agree it is a little harsh to call it dying. But I think the point is understood.
Not to be a pest but I would hardly consider Philly and some of the other cities in this pole "dying". Not gonna vote.
You should answere the poll question: Which declining city turning around the fastest? I think that's fair, obviously they're not dying, but at least acknowledge that too a certain degree, some smaller, these cities have had better days. And how the cities are progressing to get better.
Pittsburgh consistantly ranks high in quality of life indeces, so I vote for the Steel City.
Baltimore City had 17,500 building permits ast year up 40% from the year before. It issued about $650,000,000 in commercial building permits as well. The building permits include home renovations as well. In the last 5 years more than 80,000 people have moved into the Baltimore area from Washington DC Montgomery PG or Frederick counties. That does include Northern Virginia. WOW. 40% drop in crime in the last 4 years.
Buffalo's got 4 votes so far. That's just wrong.
Philly MIGHT have gone down the toilet. If, per se, the skyscraper boom didn't happen in the 80s in the midst of its demographic change, population loss, and demise of industry, Philly could have been in some deep sourkraut. Luckily, the buildings went up, kept a decent population of white-collar people in the center of the city, and held over stable bringing us to this residential boom now. It coulda been different, tho had those buildings not been erected.
Im gonna be honest here...

Until Furiine told me about the changes in Baltimore I was all for Buffalo in this poll, but to realize that Baltimore has made the changes that Buffalo only wish it could now means Baltimore has really sprang forward, thus reflecting in this poll the numbers we see.

Buffalo and Philly are moving forward yes, but maybe not as well as Baltimore.

I still root for Buffalo, but after being educated, I agree it's Baltimore.
I don't think Philly and Cincy deserve to be there. I think Baltimore is the most ahead in turning itself around. DC too. Detroit and Buffalo get props too.
BuffCity, you're optimistic, but in all reality, what have you seen in Buffalo that would make you vote for it in this poll over cities like Baltimore (which you already addressed), Cincinnati, or Cleveland? Personally, I think Cleveland deserves some props for things like the Rock and Roll HOF, the new waterfront stadium, etc. If Cleveland were Buffalo, both those projects would still be pipe dreams, and the city council would be working on $5 million feesibility studies for both rather than working to actually get them built.
This is really hard, but I think Buffalo. As the golden horseshoe in Canada grow, Buffalo might grow back into a post-industrial city.
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