Downsizing Detroit

Dec 9, 2010

Detroit is a city built for 2 million people, but now has around 800,000. It's ruins have become famous. And some people, like artist Lowell Boileau, have said the problems Detroit faces are like a "slow moving Katrina."

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing is leading a plan, called the Detroit Works Project, to shrink the city down to size. To make the city's 139 square mile footprint more manageable for city services like police, fire, sanitation, and water.

In an interview with the Detroit Free Press, Mayor Bing gave an updated vision for the plan:

  1. Bing says no one will be forced to move, but residents in the areas not targeted for development "need to understand that they're not going to get the kind of services they require."
  2. Bing says residents in the affected areas will be incentivized to move to one of 7-9 "population centers." No word yet on where those 7-9 population centers are.
  3. The plans are not finalized yet. The  city plans to hold 40 more public community meetings this spring.

There is an indication of what types of incentives there will be. From the article:

The city seeks federal housing grants to rehabilitate homes that could attract some relocated residents. It will also rebuild homes to provide incentives for police, fire and other public safety officers to move back into the city, including lease-to-own programs, mortgage and financial assistance, grants and loans for rehabilitation, and free or reduced-priced homes.