Until recently, the outlook for Massachusetts’ Gateway Cities was bleak. These midsize urban centers had flourished during the 19th century industrial era, becoming “gateways” to generations of new Americans. But by the 1960s, they began to decline, as factories closed and the populations shrank. Still, many of the buildings—spinning mills, weave sheds, shoe factories—remained intact, even if often vacant.
Similar conditions can be found in industrial hubs across the country (think Youngstown, Ohio, or Flint, Michigan). Some refer to them as “shrinking cities” or “stagnating cities,” leading others to declare them on life support.
+INFO: Fast Company