About the Legacy Cities Initiative
Legacy cities are cities that have experienced substantial economic and population decline in the 20th and 21st centuries. We define legacy cities as cities with a population of at least 50,000, a sustained population decline of at least 20 percent from their peak historic population levels, and poverty rates higher than the national average in five of the last 10 years.
These cities have been at the center of some of America’s most historic achievements, and they have endured some of its most difficult challenges. They have developed a culture of innovation and grit and charted paths to regeneration—but in these challenging times their resilience is once again being tested.
A project of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, the Legacy Cities Initiative is a national network of community and government leaders working to revive these older industrial centers equitably and sustainably, with a particular emphasis on smaller and mid-sized cities. The initiative convenes leaders, stakeholders, and scholars; facilitates the exchange of ideas and good practices; and researches and advances new policy approaches.