Thursday, 23 April 2009

Downsizing Cities

Planetizen pointed me in the direction of this NY Times article: An Effort to Save Flint, Mich., by Shrinking It:

Instead of waiting for houses to become abandoned and then pulling them down, local leaders are talking about demolishing entire blocks and even whole neighborhoods....

Indianapolis and Little Rock, Ark., have recently set up land banks, and other cities are in the process of doing so. “Shrinkage is moving from an idea to a fact,” said Karina Pallagst, director of the Shrinking Cities in a Global Perspective Program at the University of California, Berkeley. “There’s finally the insight that some cities just don’t have a choice.”

It's an interesting article, not for the neighbourhood-busting aspect of it, but to take a section of the city and redesign it by plan rather than have the whole thing be pockmarked with alternating sites of decay and the odd injection of a housing grant.

The only similar thing I can think of in Winnipeg is Flora Place. there they took a neighbourhood of about 100 homes in very bad shape, bordering bygone industrial lands and planned a new neighbourhood from the soil up. (See my post here for details).

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