Johio said: what would your suggested plan of action be? What would the city have to do by the 2030s to, at the very least, maintain its status as a "mid major" city?
Oh, I'm glad you asked, just as long as you realize that as my analysis is socially unacceptable, my plans are equally so.
The plan is already being worked. Roughly: Leave or downsize. Lots of people know they can't survive here, so they've left. That only works for so long. I've considered that option myself, but I'd be just another desperate yahoo seeking work in zones where jobs exist. I'd be a renter then until I died; I may as well just throw open my doors now and hand everything away. As a side note, I'm a materialist, I have lots of tools and equipment. So I'm not going to be doing something like that. I've said before that other people need to leave, than me. I want 50K people to leave Toledo ASAP. All you people with degrees and families, please just pull up stakes and get your asses out of my sight. You're only here taking up jobs that people like me need to survive.
But leaving only works so far, especially considering that most people "leave" merely by White Flight; they go into the suburbs and exoburbs, and hold onto their swanky city jobs while doing so. That creates a new class of house-indebted and energy-gulping citizenry who will crash and burn soon enough. If there's one thing that will keep increasing in price combined with running into serious shortages, it's that wacky gasoline. Eventually commuters will be as rare as piano players. In the 1800s, you didn't have commuters, and that's where we're going to end up. After all, it's physics. We just won't have affordable energy sources to support millions of people who blow through far too many joules of energy in transporting themselves 35 miles each day plus their avg wt 4000lb vehicle.
So much for "leaving". What remains is downsizing. For all those middle class who were parodied in the 1990s for not understanding what "buy less stuff" meant, that means LESS. Less spending. Less consuming. Less commuting. Less entertainment. Less health insurance. Less beer. Less. Less. Less. I have to keep repeating that since it really can't get through the thick skulls (bone all the way through) of the middle class who were indulged like silly little girls during the Boomer Era with lifetime employment and then endless credit lines.
Well, all that stupidity is over now. Careers are pretty much over except for the Golden Class (the top 10%) and of course The One Percent. That leaves 90% to eventually hang from the gibbet, from a rope woven from bills and taxes. Eventually people who even try to downsize, will keep getting slammed with bills and taxes, and then will revolt. That's a long time into the future, however; people, particularly Americans, and specifically middle-class Midwesterners are abysmally stupid. They'll keep holding on, spending where they can, borrowing where they can, until more and more catastrophes pretty much devastate their class. Foreclosures, bankruptcies, divorces, unemployment, and stress-related illnesses are just the beginning.
For those still reading, you probably know what to do. Instead of renting a movie, how about taking it out of the library? Read a book. Don't go out; that costs gasoline and wear on the car. Stay in with family, whom you're supposed to be loving and supporting anyway. Learn to garden. Build a root cellar. Build downspout cisterns. Add more insulation to your wooden box of a home (which was the most insane architecture, ever, for this climate). Get back to family and earth, since in the ongoing socio-economic collapse, that's all you'll have anyway. The goal is to not need a job.
Of course, to truly not need a job, you have to be apart from the cash economy, which is how you're enslaved today. That means a tax revolt must come, sometime down the line. But it's like directing a war through blogging and decades of time; it's not even worth discussing until it gets here.