Tag Archives: change


Follow up to my last post; I found this article about Detroit left on the printer in the place I’m staying for the summer:

Susan Saulny, “Razing the city to save the city,” The New York Times, June 20, 2010.

From the article:

For instance, though many of the plans presented to the city for consideration aim to create density in viable neighborhoods by consolidating and relocating residents from dying or dead neighborhoods, most do not go so far as to say which areas they would choose for destruction. Those decisions, group leaders said, are for the city to make.

“What we believe is that it should be data driven, in collaboration with residents,” said Anita Lane, director of programs at Community Development Advocates of Detroit. Any process for redesigning the city, she said, “needs to have all the stakeholders coming together to take ownership for this.”

The article summarizes a lot of the main threads of the debate and highlights many important concerns, for instance, that relocation and downsizing feel like a land grab to a population that’s been disenfranchised in the past or that necessary financial resources are hardly available.

One thing it doesn’t address that I’d really like to see some research on is the feasibility of land-use change from urban to agricultural or wild. The article notes that in many places nature is ostensibly beginning to reclaim abandoned properties, but how about cleaning up brownfield sites, and how can we turn neighborhoods into farms when there are electrical lines and sewer pipes under every street?