New Domain, Dying Cities?

Let’s have a discussion. First, I wanted to announce that Rust Wire has purchased a domain. We can now be accessed simply by visiting Also, in the coming weeks we will be undertaking some improvements to our site. The content will remain the same or, hopefully, will improve as we reach larger audiences and expand our partnerships. Thanks to Youngstown’s Tyler Clark for the assistance.

Secondly, this got me thinking.


I’ve often heard people refer to Rust Belt cities as “dying.” This has always made me bristle.

I lived in Youngstown for a year and it is as qualified as any city for doomsday histrionics. But more than 30 years after the collapse of the steel industry on which the city was founded, Youngstown is still a city. It still has a functioning government. In fact, it’s regional economic product remains in the multi-billion dollar range. People still eat at the same restaurants as their parents and grandparents did, in many cases.

What do we mean when we say a city is dying? What does a dead city look like? I’ve heard people postulate that Detroit is dying. But it remains the nation’s 22nd largest city. Is a dead city empty? Will Detroit ever be completely empty?

I know a lot of Rust Belt cities prefer to think of themselves as shrinking. This is probably a more accurate discription, in my mind.

Any thoughts on this?


Filed under Editorial

2 responses to “New Domain, Dying Cities?

  1. Barring city-county consolodation, cities are not going to stop existing. And a great many cities are simply “too big to fail”, to use a term that’s been thrown around a lot lately. Most large cities have so much investment in capital that it would be stupid for us as a society to just write them off. But there are other cities or urban enclaves that don’t have that investment in capital, and therefore can genuinely be considered “dying”. Take a trip down the Monongahela outside of the city of Pittsburgh. Homestead, Braddock, McKeesport, Clairton, Duquesne, and that’s just in Allegheny County alone. These are the places the old folks talk about yearning for their childhoods. Smaller cities, particularly in dense urban areas, are the ones that are more properly referred to as “dying”. Their roles as retail centers, employment sites, and residential communities have been elipsed by the suburbs.

  2. Pingback: GLUEspace » Blog Archive » Thursday Rust Wire Round-Up

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