12 reasons why cities fail

Our last #CityTalk tweetchat on the topic of Failed Cities was a major success, with 366 tweets, and reaching 2.5 million on social media through impressions. It  attracted a lot of attention in light of the recent news that Detroit would file for bankruptcy. One revelation during the #CityTalk was the broad definition and interpretation of “failure” or being a “failed city” was a good place to start with many #CityTalk ‘ers presenting different perspectives and views.

Several of the responses pointed towards the need to develop the diversity of the city, not only in terms of its people but also its economy and industries, cultural offering and spatial form. Many others took the point of view that people would indicate whether or not a city would fail, by either leaving the city or being uncomfortable while living there, as well as having a largely disengaged population who were not interested in the future of the city and were not consulted or engaged with. The role of government, local and national, was another key point with some pointing towards the abuse of power, and a lack of clear visions and strategies as reasons for city failure.


Here are some of the responses to why cities fail: