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Dan Kildee, leader of the ‘shrinking cities’ movement, on saving distressed cities

In a phenomenon known as “shrinking,” post-industrial cities are facing steep population loss and vast expanses of abandoned property.

Dan Kildee, a leader in the Shrinking Cities movement and the president of Community Progress, an advocacy group that is working to change the way government approaches cities in declines, has pioneered a land-banking system in his hometown of Flint, Mich. Today, Flint’s program is a model for other troubled cities looking to cope with their huge stock of abandoned homes.

Kildee talks to Alison Stewart about the need for a national agenda, the good that comes from demolishing houses and the mental shift Americans will need to make before they stop seeing downsizing as failure.


Youngstown, Ohio: the incredible shrinking city

In Youngstown, a house now abandoned was a home

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    Main Street: Findlay, Ohio
    Need to Know travels to Ohio to assess how workers are faring after the loss of millions of manufacturing jobs over the past 35 years.
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    Following the money: Tax breaks
    New CBO report echoes the findings of Need to Know's "A tale or four tax returns."
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      Certifiably employable
    Rick Karr recently visited Seattle to look at a program designed to give the unemployed the skills they need to find jobs in one of the country’s fastest-growing industries.


  • Monica Thompson

    It’s very difficult to think that communities should bulldoze houses immediately upon acquisition through a land bank of foreclosed properies. However, Dan is right that if there is no effective demand for housing, the adjacent residences will be more valuable without a disintegrating home next door. Most of us who are planners would want to see the old home saved, it’s true, but increasingly we’re pragmatic about the fact that some cities just aren’t coming back any time soon.

  • Glenn

    Land banks payed for at least two historical homes in Flint to be torned down. look at the video of Dan while they are filming. The Gray house in the video was just recently remodeled and freshly painted Its interesting TV12 filmed in the dark. and the homes were not abandoned.The truth is this was a sweet heart deal made for hurley hospital because they wanted that block. I would love to see the dutch video for sure

  • Glenn

    This is one of the so called but not abandoned homes that Landbank payed to be demolished

  • Glenn