Cynical Synapse

Mon, 15 Jun 2009

Greening of Cities Means Bulldozing Neighborhoods

Filed under: Civil liberties, Economy, Legal, Life, Michigan, People, Politics — cynicalsynapse @ 6:41 am

House being demolished

One idea floating around to help urban areas in the US deal with falling budgets is downsizing the cities. Flint, MI, needs to shrink by 40% according to some local officials. The basic concept is to demolish vacant buildings and relocate scattered residents to other areas of the city. The intended results are the revitalizing of some neighborhoods, concentrating city services in a smaller area, and returning the unused areas back to nature.

An article in The Telegraph credits Genesee County Treasurer Dan Kildee (D) with the idea, but Youngstown, OH, is already downsizing. Kildee, who is also president of the Genesee County Land Bank, is a vocal supporter of the shrinking cities concept.

There are different ways to go about right-sizing depopulating cities and each area has its own challenges. Kildee is certainly wise to have sought Youngstown’s council before widespread implementation in Flint. Before then, let’s see if Youngstown succeeds in “[b]olster[ing] what can be saved, but try[ing] to pull back from what cannot.”


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