The very product that Detroit produces has been one of the reasons for its current harsh reality. The reality is that the "Motor City" ceased to grow a long time ago. Its population peaked in 1960 at 1,849,000 and today stands at only 914,000. That decline has left the sprawling city with thousands of abandon homes. Whole neighborhoods exist with only one or two households on a street.
With a crumbling infrastructure that is increasing expensive to maintain the city has created the Detroit Works Project to perform one of America's first cases of urban triage. The city will now make the crucial decision about which neighborhood will stay and which will be reverted to brownfield status.
In the last two years the city under the direction of Detroit Works has demolished 2,000 structures with an additional 6,000 planned demolitions in the next two years. As Rainy Hamilton of Hamilton Anderson Associates states in the PBS Newshour news segment, "it's a density issue". The city can no longer maintain roads, streetlights, and sewers where there isn't a sufficient tax base. Neighborhoods will be triaged into categories of "steady, transitional, or distressed in an attempt to order and prioritize scarce city resources. Many of the city's neighborhoods will be ceded and the city's perimeter brought in to a more manageable level.
The question is, is Detroit the only city, or just the first in what we will see to selectively prune inefficient and expensive infrastructure and development. in an effort to focus on the core.
The question remains; what parts of your city do you prune first? Cue commercial.
"With Detroit on Brink of Financial Disaster, State Steps In" - PBS Newshour
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