Built for a population in some cases over twice as large as that currently within the city limits, shrinking cities have found themselves, particularly since 2007’s fiscal crisis, with an unmanageably large array of streets, utilities, public buildings, parks and housing. ‘Rightsizing’ has emerged as a word for the yet-unproved process of somehow bringing cities down to a ‘right’ size; in other words, to a size proportionate to city government’s ability to pay for itself. Even Detroit, the United States’s largest shrinking city, is discussing rightsizing.
As the Chicago Housing Authority's "Plan for Transformation" reached its 10th anniversary, a substantial body of research has emerged to assess the city's major effort to redevelop its public housing stock and improve the lives of the public housing population. This report is not a formal evaluation of the Plan for Transformation itself, but is instead a review of more than eighty pieces of published literature about the Plan. It is intended to provide readers with a critical overview of the processes and the outcomes affecting families and neighborhoods impacted by the Plan.