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A woman who lives in the Lincoln Knolls section of the East Side spent several years investing some of her money into maintaining a vacant parcel next door to her with the intention of buying the lot.

Many people who are familiar with neighborhoods that make up the city’s 7th Ward likely will tell you that one defining feature is diverse demographics — in everything from population trends to home vacancies.

Youngstown, Ohio — a town that lost over 60 percent of its population since the 1960s — may be an emerging model of urban planning, panelists at a Ford School of Public Policy discussion Wednesday said.

Youngstown is a small city in the hills of northeast Ohio, once famous for steelmaking; and sadly, if famous for anything today, for economic distress and population loss.

The Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp. took center stage March 17 at the Wick Park Neighborhood Association’s monthly meeting. Members talked about the conditions of the neighborhood and asked residents what tops their list of concerns and priorities.