US cities may have to be bulldozed in order to survive

  • swimbikerun

    Posts: 2835

    Jun 14, 2009 2:48 AM GMT
    Dozens of US cities may have entire neighbourhoods bulldozed as part of drastic "shrink to survive" proposals being considered by the Obama administration to tackle economic decline.
    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....
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetopics/financialcrisis/5516536/US-cities-may-have-to-be-bulldozed-in-order-to-survive.html
    Perhaps there's a bulldozer coming to your town!
    "Defeatist" is ridiculous. America is now in the Age of Contraction.
  • cowboyathlete

    Posts: 1346

    Jun 14, 2009 4:05 AM GMT
    No the article refers to only select cities, not all of them.
  • swimbikerun

    Posts: 2835

    Jun 14, 2009 4:08 AM GMT
    cowboyathlete saidNo the article refers to only select cities, not all of them.
    Ummm...right. Where did I say "all"?
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    Jun 14, 2009 4:17 AM GMT
    I think this idea has merit and potential. Some of these rust belt towns are all but empty. I would rather see gentrified neighborhoods and modernized/rebuilt town centers surrounded by woodlands and meadows than depressing and decaying/polluting towns and cities. Urban sprawl is a huge environmental problem in the US.
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    Jun 14, 2009 4:28 AM GMT
    I just read about this from another post (http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/555389/.

    It makes sense to do this in areas where there is a big contraction and population decline.
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    Jun 14, 2009 4:39 AM GMT
    It makes sense. I have family in Flint, and shit-hole would be a generous description of it. My grandparents live in the northwest side of the city, and on the few occasions which I have been to downtown and other areas of town, it's been bleak. Tons of empty buildings, empty lots, and broken down buildings. Not to mention it takes 20 minutes or so to reach the downtown area. If they're not being used, why keep them? It'd also keep people a lot closer to workplaces. I save about $2000 per year by staying local and using a bike and public transportation as my main modes of transport. In places where poverty is raging, while gas prices are rising and yada yada yada, why would you want the extra expense of living 20-30 minutes or more from where you worked? The era of white flight is over, let's get back to the cities where we can actually support the residents.
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Jun 14, 2009 4:57 AM GMT
    The personal aspects aside, from an ecological standpoint it's a good idea. There are thousands of square miles of unused developed property covered in asphalt and concrete that contribute to climate change. Razing that, recycling the materials and planting trees and grasses would be a good thing in that regard.
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    Jun 14, 2009 5:13 AM GMT
    Sure. If you cant create jobs building, then create them tearing down. Think of all the people that will attract and how the city will grow.

    I wondered for decades when our trade deficits would come home to roost.
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    Jun 14, 2009 10:54 AM GMT
    There has been lots of talk in Detroit lately of doing the same kind of razing of mostly abandoned neighborhoods and using the land for urban farming, there are even designs that incorporate wind generators to offset power needs for the farms.
    I think it's a great idea since more people are interested in locally grown sustainable and fresher produce nowadays. I also always though a great use for some of the many ( I mean tons) abandoned and vacant warehouses and factories would be creating a hydroponic farm ( for vegetables, not marijuana) to supply fresh produce to local stores / restaurants / etc.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Jun 14, 2009 10:58 AM GMT
    Many Midwest and Northeast cities have had declining population numbers as more people have moved down into the Sunbelt states and into the suburbs
    The innercities in many places have become ghost towns and havens for crime and urban blight
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    Jun 14, 2009 11:09 AM GMT
    I wonder how much of this contraction and flight to the suburbs is a result of notoriously high taxes and business retarding regulations that many urban areas are well known for? As much as anything else, I think this problem is simply a smaller scale example of the results of a high tax, heavy social spending environment. I think this is a great thing to think about as the federal government continues to bloat at unprecedented rate and proceed with business and industry interference and takeovers.
  • Latenight30

    Posts: 1525

    Jun 14, 2009 12:32 PM GMT
    I think it's time to look at how citys and towns and neighborhoods have been built in the last 20 years and where we are now in the country.
    I live in Atlanta and there are about 5 condo complexes that are doing auctions but they keep building. I think if they could do like a publics work program. Hire some of the people who have become unemployed to razze and rebuild these places. I'd much rather live in a place where I can bike to the store than have 3 mega malls surrounding me.
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    Jun 14, 2009 12:43 PM GMT
    Also restricting permits on new construction might be the cheapest way to to bolster the real estate market and fill some of those empty residences that are heading towards blight.
    It's supply and demand.
    Demand is down.
    Supply has to be curtailed.

    If not actually curtailed, new construction could be taxed with impact fees to make the resulting improvements more expensive....that would still increase demand for lower priced existing properties.
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    Jun 14, 2009 1:23 PM GMT
    they should start with Houston!

    So that they can spread all those bottoms around to other places icon_biggrin.gif
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    Jun 14, 2009 2:58 PM GMT
    It's all air conditioning's fault!!!!
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    Jun 14, 2009 8:20 PM GMT
    swimbikerun saidDozens of US cities may have entire neighbourhoods bulldozed as part of drastic "shrink to survive" proposals being considered by the Obama administration to tackle economic decline.
    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....
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetopics/financialcrisis/5516536/US-cities-may-have-to-be-bulldozed-in-order-to-survive.html
    Perhaps there's a bulldozer coming to your town!
    "Defeatist" is ridiculous. America is now in the Age of Contraction.



    It actually began in earnest during the Clinton administration where enormous amount of money pit, unsustainable, failed, government built projects were torn down. Urban experiments should not be considered a crime and neither should progressive change and right-sizing. Historically cities are built on tops of older outmoded cities ..layer after layer..One difference is accidents ( fire) in the old days tended to do periodic clearing.