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Old 06-23-2008, 08:38 PM
2,256 posts, read 5,486,661 times
Reputation: 1600


I don't mean the whole city, just part of it. Smaller cities have experienced similar devastation, such as Youngstown, Oh. So, what they did was to simply accept reality. After years of trying to reclaim their glory days of being a city of 150,000 residents, they decided to accept the fact that their population would likely never rise much above the current 80,000. When there were only a few people left on a block, the city offered incentives to get them to move. They purposely abandoned entire neighborhoods to save money on providing city services and to reduce blight. Roads were blocked off or removed, and land was reclaimed for other uses. One former neighborhood is now a tree farm for the city.

I cannot see any way for Detroit to come back to being anywhere near what it was. Just looking at the aerial view of Detroit on Google maps is shocking. Mile after mile after mile of abandoned, or largely abandoned, blocks, spread across the entire city. No other large city in the country is this devastated. You can't revitalize Detroit, because quite simply, there is literally nothing left to fix. The population, as of the 2006 census estimate, dropped over 10% from the 2000 census. How do you run a city when you have to send garbage trucks down block after abandoned block, just to pick up trash from the few homes that are left? How do you keep residents happy when you need to close their library because the 10,000 people that used to live in the neighborhood are now down to less then a thousand?

Is it time to begin deliberately abandoning large parts of Detroit to save it from itself? Think of it this way. A developer could put up a block of new homes in Detroit. But the street lights will only come on on occasion, potholes will never be fixed, garbage might be picked up once a month, and any snowfall short of a blizzard won't be plowed. Who would want to live in such a city? If Detroit could save a small fortune by ending city services in completely abandoned parts of the city, while being able to provide basic services in other areas where the majority of homes are still standing, wouldn't the city be better off?

Last edited by prairiestate; 06-23-2008 at 08:56 PM..
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Old 06-23-2008, 10:02 PM
Location: Michigan
334 posts, read 1,277,461 times
Reputation: 150
I agree with most of what you say. The problem is Detroit is so strapped with cash that it couldn't afford to offer incentives. There is a few old historic sites to save, such as the old Model T factory.

I think the state of Michigan should set up a massive clean up effort of Detroit. Instead of wasting money on movie incentives. Pick several days or a whole week, pay people from all around the state to go to Detroit and fix the city. People need to stop tolerating what it has become, no matter what city you live in. Imagine what 100,000 people could do all working together. Get the skilled people to take buildings down, and everyone else can be the labor. Or have it be more of a long term thing, like the new CCC.
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Old 06-24-2008, 05:13 AM
Location: SE Michigan
262 posts, read 729,142 times
Reputation: 89
Brent I guess you haven't followed the Mayor's on goings. He has told the people surrounding the city of Detroit that He doesn't need the Suburbs Help and that everyone outside of Detroit needs to mind their own Business. This Mayor has destoryed more Historical Buildings and Homes then anyone who has held the Mayor's Office. kwamee is going to do everything he can to bring Detroit down. The schools to city services are for crap, Since Coleman Young Detroit has been on a downward spiral and no leveling off in sight.
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Old 06-24-2008, 05:21 PM
Location: Tokyo
156 posts, read 519,222 times
Reputation: 49
I and many others agree with you; indeed I myself have made very similar posts. Maintaining a city that once held nearly 2 million people that now has about half that in the same area makes no sense. It is like refusing to amputate one's gangrenous big toe (or maybe whole right leg in Detroit's case) at the cost of the health of the rest of one's body. It makes all kinds of sense to offer equivalent or better housing in a viable neighborhood to the few people who live on otherwise abandoned blocks, then just shutting those blocks down with no utilities or services. Turn it into a nature preserve if you like.
But the realities are just way too complicated. It takes a whole lotta money and a whole lotta time to go find these people, reach them, find equivalent housing, then entice them to move. Besides which there are absentee owners with title to land/buildings who have to be located then compensated somehow (though one could argue that the compensation wouldn't have to be much). Right now the city has more than its hands full tearing down abandoned and gutted buildings one by one, and they sometimes they make a mistake and try to tear down a perfectly respectable occupied dwelling. Then again, the city could argue eminent domain like they did when they ripped up Paradise Valley and other neighborhoods to build highways, but nobody has the guts, least of all our mayor. Of course, I must confess that I certainly wouldn't want to be mayor of this city. A rich investor/developer maybe, but not the mayor.
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Old 06-25-2008, 08:26 PM
225 posts, read 750,016 times
Reputation: 122
The tree nursery in Rouge Park is one of the nicest areas on the west side. Detroit should rip up a lot of concrete and let many areas go rural fallow instead of urban fallow. Some friends of mine used to hunt pheasant in a few blighted and abandonned areas.....Just think how much money you could make capitalizing on urban bird hunting.
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Old 06-26-2008, 12:39 AM
69 posts, read 315,332 times
Reputation: 42
I just got back from a three day trip in Detroit. I did some urban exploring and took alot of pictures. All I can say is WOW! Riding and walking around the city, I kind of felt sorry for the residents of Detroit. I was standing in front of a home taking a picture because I assumed it was abandoned from the looks of it then an old lady comes walking out of it to go to the store. I actually had a pretty good conversation with her. She said it has been years since she has traveled outside of Detroit.
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Old 06-26-2008, 03:10 PM
Location: Brooklyn
12 posts, read 76,969 times
Reputation: 11
Good idea. However, it will a political leader who is somewhat humble enough that Detroit is not the big city it once was nor will it ever be in our lifetime.

The manufacturing base that made Detroit does not look to be coming back anytime soon. Plus even if gasoline made things expensive to import from overseas, the nature of manufacturing & automation no longer requires the amount of people Detroit had at its peak.
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Old 06-30-2008, 03:53 PM
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
27,757 posts, read 65,567,547 times
Reputation: 32918
Sometimes the City tears down people's homes by mistake.

There are areas around the city that are basically empty and should be cleared.

My brother was involved with a group that wanted to clear the 30 square miles of vacant land in the city and grow sunflowers to make ethanol. There is an unused or underused refinery that could be used to process the ethanol (and provide jobs) and the ethanol could be used to fuel city vehicles.

Sunflowers are move viabe than corn becuase no one will steal them to eat them.
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Old 07-01-2008, 10:43 AM
5,114 posts, read 4,811,693 times
Reputation: 4380
Originally Posted by Coldjensens View Post
Sunflowers are move viabe than corn becuase no one will steal them to eat them.
You certain about that?

http://www.davidseeds.com/images/pic_reduced.jpg (broken link)
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Old 07-01-2008, 02:49 PM
Location: Home!
8,710 posts, read 10,606,007 times
Reputation: 8512
I agree with OP. Problem is that when the mayor can't even figure how to communicate his affairs without getting caught-how would he ever be smart enough to implement such a plan?

He needs to move on before this city can even think of moving forward.
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