Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Flint, Michigan plans for "Shrinkage"

The New York Times has an article about a plan being proposed in Flint, Michigan which will actually shrink the size of the city to reflect its lower post-industrial population base. Twenty years ago, filmmaker Michael Moore highlighted the decline of Flint (his hometown) in his documentary, Roger and Me. Continued job losses at General Motors have made things worse in Flint since that movie was made.

In the shrinkage plan, foreclosed houses would go into a "land bank" and whole areas once industrial and residential will return to open space. According to Wikipedia, Flint's population now is a little over half of its 1960 peak of 200,000. By shrinking the city's physical size, public services could be delivered more efficiently and the city would be more resistant to urban blight.

If the shrinkage plan works, about the only thing Flint will need for a fresh start is a new name. I'm thinking "Costanzaville".

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