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  'US Cities may have to be bulldozed in order to survive' (search mode)
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Author Topic: 'US Cities may have to be bulldozed in order to survive'  (Read 4541 times)
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snowguy716
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« on: June 13, 2009, 01:40:19 am »

Knock down really dilapidated areas, try to rehabilitate some.  Convert some newly razed areas into nature preserves or parks and sell the rest of the land, offering incentives to open businesses or build housing there.

If you create lots of parks within a city like that, people will eventually move in.

Overall, with the population growth in the U.S. and the rising price of oil, people will need to cluster together more. 

Also, this will only need to happen in a few select cities like Flint or Detroit where the population loss has been so dramatic.

Of course many cities have much smaller populations than they did 60 years ago, but that is mostly due to the simple fact that fewer people occupy any one house now than they did back then.  The number of housing units in Minneapolis has nearly doubled since 1950, yet the population has fallen from 520,000 to 380,000.

But this brings up the bigger question:  How do we deal with a shrinking population?  Do we just raze the houses of the recently deceased that have no young people to move into, leaving a hodgepodge of houses with communities scattered over large distances with empty lots all over?

Do we try to consolidate people?

Doing nothing will certainly hurt us... just look at the cities mentioned above.
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snowguy716
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« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2009, 06:25:01 pm »

I have to say I agree with Soulty on this and he makes good points.  We already tried razing large parts of cities back in the 60s and 70s and even 80s in some places and it was devastating.

Like I said in my previous post, you need to really look at it on a case by case basis.  If, for example, there is a neighborhood that is largely abandoned that already abuts a natural area, then by all means, tear it down and expand the natural area.

If we invest in our declining cities by expanding police presence while also expanding public transit (especially rail transit... having tracks in the ground really has a way of attracting business compared to a bus, which could always change routes and move to a different street) and using tax incentives and other programs to attract businesses while focusing on mixed income housing developments, it will make the city vibrant again.

Older cities that do this stuff are doing a lot better than those that don't.

The reason I oppose just random razing of vast parts of cities, is because it is just another attempt at doing what we tried to do 50 years ago.  We razed vast portions of our central cities to put in surface parking for all the cars that were driving in from the suburbs.  The 'burbs became desolate during the working day, and at 5pm, the central business districts were deserted.  Freeways were dug through, dissecting neighborhoods and leading to socioeconomic isolation, which eventually led to higher crime.

Many cities started creating incentives and helping fund entertainment venues and mixed income housing in their downtown areas to make the central city vibrant again.  From there, they can branch out into the older neighborhoods around the central part of the city and work their way out.  The inner suburbs can also work with the central city to redevelop older areas.  This creates a viable, attractive, and desirable place to live.

Since the U.S. still has natural population growth, it doesn't take away from somewhere else, but it just slows the massive sprawl going on further and further out.  You are re-densifying cities so to say.

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snowguy716
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« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2009, 10:50:11 pm »

I think we could more easily redevelop abandoned areas of cities and dismantle the outer exurbs, and make the neighborhoods desirable by having dense housing with large public green spaces.

With denser development, city services are much more efficient since you ahve fewer miles of streets to pave for more people and mass transit becomes a lot more viable.

Let the exurbs turn back into natural habitat or farmland.
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