Youngstown is notable for its historic role as a key steel city in our nation’s history and, more recently, for embracing the reality of its future via the Youngstown 2010 plan and process. Being the first post-industrial city to formally acknowledge that it would not return to its former industrial roots or size, Youngstown has paved the way in terms of sustainable planning and downsizing.
We set out to help Youngstown become a model for the Rustbelt. In early 2009, we launched the "Greening the Rustbelt: Sustainable Youngstown Initiative" in Youngstown. We created a climate action and sustainable city plan and an urban agriculture feasibility study.
Climate Action and Sustainable City Plan
Our first objective: creating a climate action and sustainable city plan. We aimed to build upon the work of the City, local organizations, Youngstown State University, and local leaders. This plan contained a greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventory (city government and community-wide) and a report outlining strategies that can be implemented to reduce emissions.
Urban Agriculture Feasibility Study
Next, we set out to create a plan for redeveloping a specific neighborhood and released a report on the promise of urban agriculture: "Urban Agriculture Feasibility Study for Youngstown: Opportunities for Healthy Food Production, Local Jobs, and Ecological Restoration."
Youngstown State University Sustainable Energy Forum
Walker Wells, director of our Green Urbanism Program, participated in the roundtable discussion in June 2012 at Youngstown State University.