“The government, looking at expanding a pioneering scheme in Flint, one of the poorest US cities, which involves razing entire districts and returning the land to nature.”
Slowly, quietly, seemingly unknown to the population at large, once great cities in the United States are dying. I was taken aback by the names on the list. Detroit, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Memphis. Buck and others have blogged about the decline of Detroit, but I had little idea that the problem extended so far. My initial reaction is one of sadness. I try to imagine the plight of the people forced to walk away from their homes, losing their investment, and perhaps their dreams, moving to someplace unknown in search of better opportunity.
However, upon stepping back and casting an analytical eye toward this, one realizes that this is simply part of the cycle of civilization. Cities have sprouted, thrived, and withered into history for centuries. Carthage. Spartus. Troy. Thebes. Once, thriving metropolises which are now relegated to names in the history books. Why should we be any different? Because we are modern? More civilized?
I could bloviate, ad nauseum, regarding the reason these cities have declined. Politics, race, business, you name it. The reasons are what they are, and ruminating about them now will not change the facts.
Regarding the razing the abandoned portions of these cities. I'm sure some will rail against the thought of tax dollars being used for this reason. I for one am in favor of it. We need to clean up after ourselves. Return these areas back to nature. The die has been cast as far as the Stimulus Package goes. We cannot put that tiger back in it's cage. The effort to raze the abandoned sections of these towns will at least create some jobs for those who are still holding on.
And it simply makes sense. If the city is physically smaller, it will reduce the stress on basic services, such as fire, police, and sanitation. Give these areas a shot at survival.
Now, if only we could convince them to raze Seattle.