A Shrinking City

Most Chicagoans are—understandably—surprised to hear that the size of their fair city has been shrinking steadily for quite some time. But the population of The Windy City has, indeed, been shrinking, and it has been doing so for the better part of ten years.

Most neighborhoods north and northwest of the Loop have managed to maintain—or even increase—the number of people living within their borders. And the residents of neighborhoods like Lakeview or Wicker Park may find it hard to believe that the rest of Chicago has lost roughly 200,000 residents in the last decade. After all, the housing prices in their own neighborhoods have remained steady in recent years, and new residents seem to be moving in all the time.

But other neighborhoods, located primarily in the south and southwest, have been shrinking continuously for years. These neighborhoods, composed primarily of economically disadvantaged minority residents, have been abandoned—or nearly abandoned—by the city government for years. Potholes go without repair for weeks, if not months. Abandoned buildings stand in spite of the protests of local residents. And commercial activity in these areas of the city remains almost non-existent.

The residents of these disadvantaged neighborhoods have, understandably, been fleeing for the suburbs—or for other cities—for years. And the Chicago government has done little to stop their mass exodus.

But local real estate experts have reason to believe that newly inaugurated Mayor Rahm Emanuel may take strides to reverse these trends.

The newly elected Mayor spoke recently about Chicago’s negative population growth, and he seemed interested in turning around these negative retail trends.

We can only hope that Mr. Emanuel has the drive and determination necessary to revitalize these neighborhoods and encourage more people to move to Chicago.

Check out this article for more information about Mayor Rahm.

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