I have very mixed feelings about this story which concerns the Mayor of Detroit’s effort to have an orderly retreat of the people of Detroit, rather than a general collapse.
The big thing is that this is a result of how badly the city and state economies have been handled for the last 20 or 30 years. This end was clear at least that long ago and the response of the city government and the voters was to keep on partying until the money ran out.
On the other hand, when ⅓ of the buildings in a city are abandoned or turned in to vacant lots, you’ve got a problem that needs to be dealt with and the Mayor’s plan doesn’t seem so outrageous given the existing situation. I do wonder, though, why he’s not pitching it as “green”, i.e. more concentrated housing with green corridors, the standard sort of watermelon style city planning.
I liked this bit —
he’s already facing opposition from activists such as Ron Scott, who said he is “adamantly opposed” and believes the business community is pushing Bing to get cheap access to large tracts of the city.
“Sounds like reservations to me, it sounds like telling people to move,” Scott said. “The citizens of the city of Detroit who built this city, the working class, didn’t create this situation. You are diminishing the constitutional options people have by contending you have a crisis.”
I was unaware of any Constitutional “option” that guarantees city services. I would also object on the basis that the citizens of the city did, in fact, create this situation by repeatedly electing crooks, looters, and incompetents to city office.
Finally, I am a bit puzzled by the Mayor resorting to eminent domain. One would think he should exactly the opposite, and un-domain the non-viable sections of the city. If they’re not part of the city, there’s no requirement to provide services, which is what the Mayor claims is the problem.