Detroit Free Press
March 9, 2010

Logic, efficiency and the city’s battered budget scream out for the right-sizing of Detroit — moving isolated residents and businesses out of blighted neighborhoods, clearing the vast land tracts now dominated by abandoned structures and clustering people so public services can be concentrated — and actually delivered.

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Detroit is the ideal setting for a national, even global demonstration of how to re-green an urban landscape and remake a city for its new post-industrial reality. Just about everybody who ran for office in the city last year agreed that it was time for such sweeping change.

“Without a doubt, we’ve got to downsize the city,” Mayor Dave Bing said last month. “If we don’t do it, this whole city is going to go down. I’m hopeful people will understand that.”

But even with all those sound reasons and support, it will be hard to make happen in Motown. Remember, this is the place that let an ancient baseball stadium rot empty for a decade while arguing about what to do with it. This is the place where the hulking Michigan Central Depot still towers over a west side neighborhood, a monument to decline.


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