US cities may have to be bulldozed in order to survive

The government looking at expanding a pioneering scheme in Flint, one of the poorest US cities, which involves razing entire districts and returning the land to nature.

Local politicians believe the city must contract by as much as 40 per cent, concentrating the dwindling population and local services into a more viable area.

The radical experiment is the brainchild of Dan Kildee, treasurer of Genesee County, which includes Flint.

Having outlined his strategy to Barack Obama during the election campaign, Mr Kildee has now been approached by the US government and a group of charities who want him to apply what he has learnt to the rest of the country.

Mr Kildee said he will concentrate on 50 cities, identified in a recent study by the Brookings Institution, an influential Washington think-tank, as potentially needing to shrink substantially to cope with their declining fortunes.

Most are former industrial cities in the “rust belt” of America’s Mid-West and North East. They include Detroit, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Memphis.

Telegraph: US cities may have to be bulldozed in order to survive

Previously: Parts of Flint May Go Feral

1 Comment

  1. Bill Whitcomb

    June 20, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    Ah, yes. That was the headline that I first read as “Parts of Klint May Go Feral,” which I still think would be more fascinating than parts of Flint. It is a really interesting concept, though, like the idea of leaving fields fallow for a season or two. Plow part of the city under and let it sit ’till it gets back some vegetation and wildlife. Could we get city subsidies like farm subsidies? Pay people to leave? One could conceivably cash in on both. “I’m being paid NOT to live in Flint AND NOT to grow Swiss Chard at the exact same time!” Theoretically, there’s almost no limit to the amount of stuff one could handle not doing, like not emitting carbon. This is very Zen. In the future, not doing things will become a rapidly expanding part of the economy.

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