CAN THEY SAVE YOUNGSTOWN? by ProQuest

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One frequently asked question in Youngstown is: Who's responsible for cutting my neighbor's grass? It's hard to imagine hearing this often in any city, but there it is on the "Frequently Asked Questions" page of Youngtown's official Web site, cityofyoungstownoh.org. The page provides the obvious answer: the owner. Concerning what to do if the owner refuses to landscape, Youngstown bluntly instructs: Call the Police. The city council recently raised this "infraction" to a misdemeanor 3 -- a classification shared by prostitution in Ohio. Youngstown absolutely won't tolerate grass growth. Youngstown's plan is to embrace stunted growth. The "shrinking city model," as it's called, reasons that a city suffering post-industrial blues and losing residents by the thousands won't suddenly charm people back by way of huge commercial bells and blockbuster whistles. It's acknowledged across the board that when cities shrink, the neighborhoods that end up most expendable are typically low-income and often predominantly African- or Latino-American communities.

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