The Youngstown 2010 Vision is a guiding document that sets out a framework for understanding and addressing the issues that Youngstown faces. It provides a community-based agenda for positive change organized around four platforms:
Major Vision Principles
Accepting that Youngstown is a smaller city.
The dramatic collapse of the steel industry led to the loss of tens of thousands of jobs and a precipitous decline in population. Having lost more than half its population and almost its entire industrial base in the last 30 years, the city is now left with an oversized urban structure. (It has been described as a size 40 man wearing a size 60 suit.) There are too many abandoned properties and too many underutilized sites. Many difficult choices will have to be made as Youngstown recreates itself as a sustainable mid-sized city. A strategic program is required to rationalize and consolidate the urban infrastructure in a socially responsible and financially sustainable manner.
Defining Youngstown's role in the new regional economy.
The steel industry no longer dominates Youngstown’s economy. Most people work in different industries today. The city must align itself with the present realities of the regional economy. This new positioning means support for a more diverse and vibrant economy founded on the current strengths within the city and region, such as the university, the health care sector, and the arts community.
Improving Youngstown's image and enhancing quality of life.
Youngstown must become a healthier and better place to live and work. Over time people have grown accustomed to seeing rundown buildings and streets. Urban decay is a constant and demoralizing reminder of Youngstown’s decline. It is important that Youngstown begin to “fix its broken windows” and support initiatives to improve neighborhoods, the downtown, the river, and the education system. The city must also begin dealing with difficult issues such as public safety and racism.
A call to action
The people of Youngstown are ready for change. The city already has a large number of local leaders who want to involve others and make a contribution. The citywide plan must ensure that the excitement and optimism fostered through the planning process is maintained and advanced. To that end, the city needs a practical, action-oriented plan and a process through which local leaders can continue to be empowered and the city’s successes constantly celebrated.
Youngstown 2010: Unveiling the Future
2010 Vision Presentation (PDF)
Edited broadcast of the December 16, 2002 community-wide meeting for the draft 2010 Vision by PBS 45 & 49 and WYSU-FM 88.5. Replayed on January 22, 2003.
Over 1,200 people attended this event with hundreds sharing their comments either at the microphones or stuffing the comment boxes with comments, nearly all in support of the 2010 Vision.