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Neighborhood Planning in Shrinking Cities: Youngstown, Ohio Neighborhood Action Plan Study




11: Urban Studies and Planning

Faculty Supervisor:

Brent D. Ryan

Faculty email:


Apply by:

February 10, 2020


Shuqi GAO, shuqigao@mit.edu

Project Description

Youngstown, Ohio is a de-industrializing, shrinking city in northeast Ohio. The city has actively participated in neighborhood planning, preparing NAP or Neighborhood Action Plans. We intend to carry out a joint quantitative and qualitative study to examine whether NAPs are producing measurable differences in outcomes in city neighborhoods. Our study will carry out GIS and statistical analysis of urban conditions in Youngstown, and also interview neighborhood informants about NAP impacts. This study is part of a larger series of studies on Youngstown, please see links. Potential extensions to this work may include a paid summer field visit to Youngstown and other rust belt cities, and summer and fall semester 2020 research. Skills desired include GIS (preferable, but not required) and good communication. This opportunity is preferable for students who wish to receive credit.


We would like to work with students who have a high level of interest in cities, particularly in declining and disinvested cities, and who are willing to display a high degree of commitment in working with the investigators. Students are welcome from all majors and interest areas. Please send a CV to Shuqi GAO, shuqigao@mit.edu.