06 April 2011

Downsizing Detroit

The NY Times looks at Detroit's plans to deal with extreme population loss (25% decline in the last decade alone) and decaying, nearly empty neighborhoods. It's a slightly less optimistic picture than the one presented in the Chrysler Super Bowl commercial with Eminem.

The ultimate plan for those neighborhoods — and the ultimate cost of consolidating them — is uncertain; some might become home to new industry, and some might be used to fill temporary needs, or for urban gardens and green space.

In more well-to-do neighborhoods, like Indian Village, where mansions fill the blocks and lawn-service crews were out in force last week, the idea of shrinking the city’s neighborhoods sounds appealing to many residents.

“When I go in some of the neighborhoods now, I have tears in my face, I just can’t believe what I see,” said Rukayya Ahsan-McTier, who was walking briskly for exercise in Indian Village, while clasping a golf club in one hand for protection from stray dogs or, as she said, any other trouble that might come her way.

1 comment:

  1. "any other trouble" i.e. "zombies."

    But in all seriousness, Detroit occupies this alternate universe in Michigan. I grew up in a small town just off the lake. It was a lot of woods and old neighborhoods, and had a high school that was smaller than the middle school I later attended in Illinois. Most of the state (except for maybe Lansing) is fairly suburban or rural-esque-small-town. Detroit is this strange barren patch in the middle.

    I think the whole state doesn't know what to do with it.