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Influx and Exodus: Two Conversations on Urban Density

Rust Belt cities struggle to repurpose vacant land and adapt the delivery of fundamental services, and cities like Mumbai and Lagos sprawl ever outward with dense informal communities: In both cases, adapting to sudden population change presents a massive challenge. How can city infrastructure and policy keep pace with the dramatic shifts brought on by rapid growth and decline?

This event built on Van Alen’s Future Ground competition which invited multidisciplinary teams to generate flexible design and policy strategies to reuse vacant land in New Orleans. Looking at examples from around the world, we discussed strategies for cities facing population loss in the wake of natural disasters or economic collapse, or a sudden tide of new residents coming from distant countries and rural villages in search of opportunity.

Participants: Greg Lindsay, World Policy Institute; Nadine Maleh, Inspiring Places at Community Solutions; Alan Mallach, senior fellow at Brookings Institution; Rachel Peric, Welcoming America, and more.

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