Tuesday, February 05, 2013

New Geography: Detroit future city

Today we're taking another virtual trip to the great American city of Detroit. Aaron Renn who writes for The Urbanophile wrote this column for New Geography about plans to redevelop Motown. Some of these plans we should know about already because it has gained attention in the past:
Recently the Detroit Works Project released their long awaited strategic plan for the city. This is the one led by Toni Griffin that produced a lot of public controversy because of suggestions it would result in the planned shrinkage or decommissioning (or even forced residential relocations) in sparsely populated neighborhoods.

Called “Detroit Future City,” this plan doesn’t shy away from facing the tough realities that face Detroit, but its recommendations are somewhat muted with regards to shrinkage. Nevertheless, the message is clear: in a broke, declining city, neighborhood triage is a must.

The full document is 184 pages. I perused it, but wasn’t able to review at the level of detail I normally like to. Partially this is because it was published in a hyper-annoying “cinemascope” type format that makes it almost impossible to read on screen without magnification and lots of horizontal scrolling. This aspect of the plan’s publication was an immediate knock against it in my view. However, it will share a few observations I gleaned.
Basically they're planning for a city around 600-800,000 people. Also what many should have heard about what to do about largely vacant neighborhoods. Of course in all this, the goal I'm sure is to find a way to reinvent Detroit.

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