Property abandonment is getting so bad in Flint that some in government are talking about an extreme measure that was once unthinkable — shutting down portions of the city, officially abandoning them and cutting off police and fire service.
Temporary Mayor Michael Brown made the off-the-cuff suggestion Friday in response to a question at a Rotary Club of Flint luncheon about the thousands of empty houses in Flint.
Brown said that as more people abandon homes, eating away at the city’s tax base and creating more blight, the city might need to examine “shutting down quadrants of the city where we (wouldn’t) provide services.” […]
City Council President Jim Ananich said the idea has been on his radar for years.
The city is getting smaller and should downsize its services accordingly by asking people to leave sparsely populated areas, he said.
Feral cities – The New Strategic Environment
Update: See US cities may have to be bulldozed in order to survive
April 1, 2009 at 3:59 am
Am I the only person thinking of the Batman story arc, “No Man’s Land”?
April 1, 2009 at 4:34 am
Man, that ‘see also’ is useful.
I think perhaps the way cities in the rust belt go feral will be different than in the developing world. We’ve seen a large population drain from those cities. It’s not so much large populations moving into the city from rural areas and living in shantytowns the way it is in the rest of the world, and the populations are far smaller. Detroit remains a city of around a million people, but on the whole it’s decidedly smaller cities. I’m hopeful that the unbelievably cheap property will lead to an explosion of alternative economies here in the US and abroad.
Working together from within local communities is the only solution to the lack of resources, particularly for police, to combat corruption, and to provide basic resources. Fortunately, in feral cities it may be easier to embolden and support ideologically cooperative groups than to impose order by the state.
Combating corruption and opening up the legal means to self-development seems to me to be one of the highest priorities in dealing effectively with widespread collapse. From there, it becomes possible to build the sort of cooperative, bottom up systems that can elevate entire areas.
April 1, 2009 at 6:41 pm
Dang! On first glance, I thought it said “Parts of Klint may go Feral.” That would have been much more interesting. Still, this is pretty interesting in an of itself. A few generators and some water purifying gear, and you could have your secret headquarters hidden in the heart of the exurb.