But now, Youngstown's infrastructure-paring strategy may yet become a model for other Rust-Belt cities that must recreate themselves after years of decline.
Already, delegations from smaller, post-industrial cities like Flint, Mich.; Wheeling, W.Va.; and Dayton, Ohio, have come to Youngstown to study the plan.
While Wheeling is currently looking longingly at Pittsburgh, Youngstown is a better model. Remaking the political landscape is a hard slog and a strong comparative disadvantage for entire Rust Belt mega-region. The Youngstown edge appears to be absence of spoils that continue to string struggling cities such as Buffalo along.
Again, I'll put in a plug for Youngstown as the site of the Postindustrial Globalization mega-regional think tank that Richard Longworth is promoting. Youngstown offers the kind of frontier geography that would make the perfect urban laboratory for cutting edge policies designed to deal with exogenous shocks that Longworth describes in both of his books.