Decline Of The City Decline

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City decline is a viscous cycle: people and businesses leave (in our case due to deindustrialization), this causes a decrease in tax revenue and the quality of the environment, this leads to tax increases and service cuts which results in even more people and businesses leaving. The decline of cities cannot be narrowed down to one factor, but we can find the main influences. Decline is the combination of many different economic and social factors that can transform a once vibrant metropolis into a desolate dangerous wasteland.
Pennsylvania was where this country began, the place where the founding fathers wrote the Declaration of Independence and years later the Constitution. Pennsylvania’s biggest cities are Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Once thriving cities they now both face a declining population. Various grassroots efforts and government projects aim to reverse this, but I think we need to trace back and see where this decline first started. How can we develop solutions for our modern day problems without looking back into the past to see what history did to lead up to them?
Pittsburgh was once a thriving city, its decline began slowly during the mid-20th century. Their prosperity was a result of their location in the “Rust Belt.” The “Rust Belt” included all the cities that were key to American Industry during the 19th and 20th centuries. States rich with coal and iron were the steel powerhouses of the industrial revolution. These states included Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, and Indiana. The big cities of the “Rust Belt” were Chicago, Baltimore, Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit, and Pittsburgh. During the Civil War Andrew Carnegie built the first Pittsburgh steel mills to supply the demand for weapons and during Worl...

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...e are plenty uneducated workers who would benefit from a simple place to work. If we returned manufacturing to the city it would thrive again and eliminate unemployment.
Looking back at Pennsylvania we see that despite all efforts Pittsburgh is in decline and Philadelphia is experiencing a population growth although its rate of growth has slowed down. Both of these cities were heavily affected by the economic shift from manufacturing to technology. This transition from the “Rust Belt” to the “Sun Belt” ruined the economy leaving everyone unemployed. After this those who could move got out of the city and into the suburbs where there were jobs. Post-White flight these two cities degraded into cities of crime and poor schooling. This doesn’t help bring people in; recently the city has been taken over by a movement of young idealists set on saving their beloved city.
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