June 17, 2009

CITIES OUGHTN'T BE RESIDENTIAL (via AWW):

Bulldozing America’s Shrinking Cities (Edward L. Glaeser, 6/16/09, NY Times: Economix)

On Friday, a British newspaper, The Telegraph, ran an article titled “U.S. Cities May Have to Be Bulldozed to Survive.”

This idea is hardly new. Youngstown, Ohio, and its mayor, Jay Williams, have long aimed at transforming that declining Rust Belt polis into “a sustainable mid-sized city.” Detroit’s last mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick, was elected in 2002 on a promise to raze 5,000 houses. The Telegraph article’s novelty was the suggestion that the Obama administration is interested in supporting bulldozing, which prompted the Drudge Report headline: “Obama Era: Bulldoze Shrinking Cities?”

Despite the headlines, the Telegraph article does not actually describe a massive new government policy aimed at helping cities shrink to greatness. The text described the pro-shrinkage ideas of the treasurer of Genesee County, Mich., who “outlined his strategy to Barack Obama during the campaign,” and has been “approached by the U.S. government and a group of charities who want him to apply what he has learnt to the rest of the country.”


The hotels are outside the parks at Disney and mass transit brings you in. The only residence is inside the castle, built for Walt Disney himself. Cities will follow a similar model, with only the extraordinarily rich living there permanently, in their castles, and the rest of us commuting for work and entertainment purposes.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 17, 2009 7:14 AM
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