1- Europe: Abandoned Lisbon
- poor condition of public services like schools and hospitals,
- and the fact that property in Lisbon costs 3 times more than in surrounding municipalities.
2. USA -The rust belt
Medium size towns BIRMINGHAM (USA)
The population drained from a peak of 340,887 in 1960 to about 231,000 today.
Birmingham is one of the nation's fastest-shrinking cities, yet it has an ever-growing, world-class medical center. The metro area's growth lags, but many suburbs prosper. Middle-class flight has left pools of concentrated poverty. By Jeff Hansen
On any given weekday, the corner of University Boulevard and 20th Street South is jammed with people and traffic. The bustling intersection is the doorstep of the University of Alabama at Birmingham -- and the heartbeat of the region's economy.
Just four miles away, in Birmingham's Ensley neighborhood, abandoned homes and businesses scar block after block. At 20th Street Ensley and Pleasant Hill Road are the remains of the Ensley Works, furnaces where thousands of people once made steel. Today, 18 rusting smokestacks stand sentry above fields of waist-high grass, the lost heart of a community whose population has plunged more than any other in the city.
Both intersections show the realities of life today in metropolitan Birmingham:
- One hails the best hopes for the future of Alabama's largest urban region -- a robust economic center built around a cutting-edge medical center and university.
- The other exposes the poverty and abandonment that is the Rust Belt of the South.
Between these extremes is Birmingham's struggle to thrive as a city and region.
Of the 15 American cities that have lost the largest share of their populations since 1960, 14 are in the industrial Northeast and upper Midwest -- areas traditionally known as the Rust Belt. No. 15 on that list is Birmingham