Reasons behind the abandoning and declination of North American cities

Urban decline is when a previously functioning city or neighborhood falls into disrepair and decrepitude. An abandoned or declining city has little or no income generated through tax and other means, which worsens its state. The social infrastructures are left to crumble, and activities meant to boost the economy gradually become inactive. A city experiencing this declination is otherwise called a shrinking city. 

Some cities’ declination is even met with more stringent measures, and rebuilding them is often challenging. However, an attempt to resuscitate an abandoned offers jobs for innovation specialists who specialize in researching and designing new ideas that will aid the improvement of the industrial sector, technological sector, and health sector of such cities. 

To enlighten you more, we have teamed up with professional innovation specialists from job aggregator Jooble to discuss the causes of the decline of North American cities that turned them into abandoned places. Let’s explore more

High Cost Of Living

People tend to leave a city when the cost of living is high, but the standard of living is low. The high cost of living can result from inflation in the prices of goods and services. This makes people living in the city to search for greener pastures elsewhere.

Inflation in food, clothing and accommodation prices can make a city’s inhabitants seek a more comfortable environment. Many North American cities are in this category. Before you know it, the population of those meant to develop the town and give it life has reduced. 

High Level Of Crime

It’s hard to thoroughly cleanse a city of crime, but it’s even grotesque when the rate is harmfully high. Kidnapping, killings, armed robbery, street fighting, assassination, rape, drug abuse, arson, etc, when on the rise, are all valid reasons to leave a city and never come back. 

The safety of lives and properties is not guaranteed in any city where criminal activities are rampant. The inability to successfully combat this crime can cause a city to decline. 


Lack of employment opportunities is also another thing that can make can also result in city declination and abandonment. The situation is always complicated, especially when the cost of living is high, inflation sets in, and a large city population is unemployed, so survival becomes hard. 

The quest for gainful employment can make people abandon a particular city, and the redundancy of labor is detrimental to any society. When there’s no solution in sight, environmental change is inevitable. People can travel as far as possible to seek jobs and cater to their basic needs. A city that cannot offer employment opportunities will experience a decline in the economy and population.


Another cause of the decline of North American cities, which leaves them abandoned, is deindustrialization. Most of these cities used to be heavyweights of industrialization during the early 90s. Different industries like car manufacturing, ship construction, coal, and steel once dominated the cities before moving their production facilities to other regions where the operation costs and wages would not be too much. 

In addition, a switch to technology and computer-based operation has made some North American cities struggle to upgrade with time. Hence, industries moved their operations to more advanced cities where they could find a technologically inclined and educated workforce whose study area is meant for official jobs and laboratories. 

Lack Of Natural Resources

The presence of natural resources in a city attracts job opportunities and population migration simultaneously. Companies usually explore natural resources and employ hands for seamless operations; this will keep the city occupied and not abandoned as more income is generated based on taxes on these companies and establishments.

However, when the natural resources are depleted in a city, there is no cause for attraction which can cause its decline and turn it into an abandoned place. 


The solution to a problem becomes easy when the cause is known. At times, urbanity is the primary cause of urban declination. Momentary economic booms can make cities grow, and it greatly influences their stability. 

Since economic stability significantly affects urban development, it is safe to say that the challenges related to the modern iteration of urban decline began when people living in rural areas migrated to cities for employment. 

Overpopulation in small cities then became a complicated issue. However, subsequent economic changes left many newly-grown cities economically endangered and marred with employment factors contributing to the decline. 

However, the current solution to this challenge is to adopt favorable public policy and urban design following the movement of New Urbanism. This principle aims at reforming all aspects of real estate development with various housing and professional options. The movement became very popular in the United States in the 1980s and has since impacted urban planning.

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