Detroit Wants To Shrink Itself, What Do You Think?

Detroit has been in a population decline for decades and decades.  Simply put, the city is now too big for itself.

The new mayor has proposed shrinking the footprint of Detroit by identifying areas which are currently sparsely populated, and relocating these residents to other areas.  The goal would be to create denser neighborhoods, which could then receive the concentration of services.

Right now, the city just can’t sustain itself.  The city once had about 2,000,000 residents, and now has less than half that.  Still, police must patrol all areas. Roads must be maintained.  Garbage pickup still has to cover all areas.

But with the population decline, the city can’t afford to offer these services across the board.  It is simply unsustainable.

It’s going to be a long road ahead if the city does move forward with this.  I’m not sure that it can actually succeed, but it’s a unique approach to a problem that has been around for decades and doesn’t seem to show any signs of ending soon.

Many of us have looked at our finances and taken measures to simplify them.  We cut out ‘lattes’, we eliminate or reduce debt, we cut spending where we can.  It’s interesting to see a city actually try to do such a thing on such a grand scale.

I know many people across the country see Detroit as a hellhole, and there are areas where this is indeed the case.  Still, the city and the surrounding area are full of good people, hard workers, great landmarks, and as one of the residents of the surrounding area, I continually hope that Detroit can someday right the ship.

It often looks bleak but when I look at the fact that many people and families have turned their own situations around, it gives me hope.

4 thoughts on “Detroit Wants To Shrink Itself, What Do You Think?”

  1. Wow what an interesting idea. Makes perfect sense to me, I would love to see this played out as well as spotlighted on some evening news. I think it really is a pretty great idea, though the residents probably won't like being forced to move.

  2. It seems kind of weird to me. What would happen to the abandoned areas? Would they be left to gangs? Or perhaps they would be absorbed by the bordering cities?

    Maybe simply rezoning the city? That way those who want to remain in those areas become part of the county areas and pay the county for them?

  3. interesting concept and ironically, would probably be costly. No doubt the rezoning option was considered so probably not workable for some reason. What about attracting businesses to relocate with attractive tax incentives etc.? It wouldn't happen overnight but then the citizen tax base would grow and bit by bit the economy could become bouyant again.

  4. Thanks for the posts. As far as what they would do with the empty areas, the current plan is to return them to green space for the time being. While there is always the hope to attract new businesses, there is currently a lot of empty space and land available in commercial and industrial areas as well, so there wouldn't be an immediate need to re-purpose the land. The thing to remember is that the city once housed residents and businesses which supported over 2 million residents, and is at a level that is less than half that today. Even with the consolidation, it would most likely be many years before they would need to re-develop the areas that they're proposing be cleared.

    Thanks for the comments!

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