Anonymous asked in Social ScienceEconomics · 8 months ago

Can poor economy result in an entire city being abandoned?

I grew up in a small city of approximately 30,000 people, and for the most part it was thriving--it had three major malls, a university, a number of nation wide retail store outlets, the whole works.

Fast forward 20 years later, the population is down to 14,500, all three major malls have closed and from what I hear, there have not been any prospective buyers interested in purchasing any of the properties since 8 years. The only major retail outlet left is Walmart (even a Target outlet closed recently!), the movie theater not only closed but was demolished. 3 out of 4 McDonald's restaurants closed, and there is talk of the metro transit line folding. Most of the common citizens you see at any given time look well over the age of 50.

Everytime I go to visit my parents, all I see are empty buildings with For Sale/Lease signs as well as vacant houses everywhere, and you can literally walk your dog and play with your smartphone in the middle of the highway without disrupting the trickling traffic.

I was seriously wondering--with the massive flight of the city's population, dwindling businesses (resulting in no work available anywhere), could a situation like this eventually result in an entire city being completely abandoned with nothing but empty buildings? It's so depressing....

2 Answers

  • 8 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    It's doubtful that the entire city would ever be abandoned but once they start a death spiral as you describe there's no telling how far it will go. I guess a lot would depend on where the city is located, if you are in the middle of nowhere with no other metropolitan areas close to you it will make it even worse. Hard to say without more information.

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  • Oiy
    Lv 6
    8 months ago

    Your town is enjoying the Detroit model.

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