Sunday, January 31, 2010

Flintsville And The "Shrink To Survive" Plan.

Some time ago I wrote about a federal plan to shrink large metro areas that suffer from urban blight. The idea in a nut shell is to move the inhabitants on the outskirts of the cities into empty housing closer to the urban center, then level the outlaying area and turn it into parks or farmland or some other such thing.

Now, the trial application of the "shrink to survive" plan is going to be implemented down the road in good Ole' Flint Michigan.

According to an article in the Flint paper, 277 empty houses so far have been marked for demolition. The article also stated that no one who remained in the areas would be forced to relocate.

What's missing are finer details regarding infrastructure and whether those residents who choose to remain will still have access to the city water, sewer, police, etc. Will the city still be responsible for maintaining a road where only one or two inhabited structures remain? What will the tax rates be after the "shrinkage" is over? Will these residents even belong to Flint proper anymore? How will this effect redistricting? Who is footing the bill for the housing in the center of town for residents willing to relocate?

These are the vital issues which need to be, and have yet to be resolved. Whatever the plans, if the national "shrink to survive" plan is birthed in Flintsville, you can bet that it will be an ugly, expensive, lagging process.s

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