Many American cities have rebounded from their nadir a decade or two ago with healthier downtowns, neighborhoods and local economies. However, other cities with rich historical heritages and valuable resources for this nation’s future are experiencing severe population loss. This American Assembly was aimed at building stronger policy frameworks and coalitions to assist these places.
Eighty participants from the United States and Europe met from April 14-17 in Detroit, Michigan in structured discussions on the challenges facing “legacy cities”—as they chose to call them—as well as the hurdles to repairing them. The timing was relevant because of work already underway in a number of cities.
The Assembly was co-sponsored by The Center for Community Progress (CCP) and The Center for Sustainable Urban Development (CSUD) at the Earth Institute at Columbia University. The project was co-chaired by Henry G. Cisneros, former mayor of San Antonio and Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Gregory S. Lashutka, Senior Consultant, Findley Davies and former Mayor of Columbus, Ohio.
Recommendations included using market-driven development strategies to focus on the strongest neighborhoods while employing land banks in more economically challenged areas.