Interesting article. I was curious as to the other two cities so I went to the original Forbes article and they are Scranton, PA and Springfield, MA. While I've been to a number of these cities, I'm particularly familiar with Springfield and it's a pretty sad place. I91 is a disaster area in and around Springfield and the town, home of Mass Mutual and Smith and Wesson, is rapidly becoming a ghost town.'Fastest Dying Cities' Meet for a Lively Talk
By DOUGLAS BELKIN
(See Corrections & Amplifications below.)
DAYTON, Ohio -- Here's an idea for saving Rust Belt cities: Tell bloggers and radio stations to stop calling your town a basket case.
That was one suggestion from representatives of eight of the 10 cities labeled last year as America's fastest dying. They met at the Dayton Convention Center last weekend to swap ideas about how to halt the long skid that's turned cities like Detroit, Cleveland and Buffalo, N.Y., into shorthand for dystopia.
The city representatives lunched on $6 sloppy Joes and commiserated through Power Point strategy sessions: Lure back former residents, entice entrepreneurs and artists, convert blighted pockets into parkland.
What emerged was a sense of desperation over the difficulty of rebounding from both real problems -- declining populations, dwindling tax bases -- and perceived woes.
Representatives of Dayton, Detroit, Cleveland, Buffalo; Canton and Youngstown, Ohio; Flint, Mich.; and Charleston, W.Va., took turns talking about their plans. There was little discussion of how cities might pay for the initiatives.
We went there a few months back to evaluate a dental practice and there was no way either of us would consider living there. It's a shame too, as the area just to the west, the Berkshires, is one of the most beautiful areas in MA. Additionally, Northampton, home of Smith College, is a fun little college town only a few miles north.