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Detroit Mayor Plans to Downsize City


Mayor Dave Bing deserves some credit for acknowledging economic reality:

The city plans to save some neighborhoods and encourage residents to move from others, he said.

"If we don't do it, you know this whole city is going to go down. I'm hopeful people will understand that," Bing said. "If we can incentivize some of those folks that are in those desolate areas, they can get a better situation."

"If they stay where they are I absolutely cannot give them all the services they require."

Cities exist because the benefits of having people close together outweigh the costs of crowding. In today’s Detroit, there is not so much crowding:

Bing's staff is using its own data and a survey released last weekend by Data Driven Detroit. The block-by-block study of the 139 square-mile city showed that roughly one in three parcels are vacant lots or abandoned homes.

Without a population paying taxes to support more dense infrastructure, the benefits are lower than the costs. Empty cities are not sustainable.

H/T: Maggie’s Farm