Older, industrial U.S. cities reinvented through placemaking
Across the U.S., “legacy” cities long plagued by economic and population declines are discovering new ways to reinvent themselves. Stories of urban turnarounds in the Northeast and Midwest are documented in a new report, Placemaking in Legacy Cities: Opportunities and Good Practices. The research was commissioned by the Center for Community Progress, which helps American cities restore vacant and run-down property.
Pittsburgh redeveloped a waterfront once cluttered with factories into a system of riverfront parks and trails. Cincinnati renovated a neglected park to better connect its downtown to a historic residential area. Buffalo used traffic calming and façade improvements to attract more retail outlets to the Elmwood Village neighborhood. And Detroit wins praise for creating pedestrian-friendly “anchor districts” such as Cultural Center and New Center.
Lessons culled from these and other legacy cities can be applied to urban areas grappling with vacant office space and withering property tax bases, the report says.