One Way to Manage Shrinking Cities

BY LAURA TAM, SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT POLICY DIRECTOR
June 16, 2009

The UK Guardian recently reported from beleaguered Flint, Mich., on a new plan to shrink the city by actually bulldozing unused buildings and neighborhoods.  The idea is to concentrate the dwindling population and city services into a smaller area, or as Detroit has envisioned, many smaller urban centers separated by "forests and meadows".  This proposal is apparently attracting the attention of the Obama administration.  Is this is a budget-wise coping strategy, a plan for recovery, or the anti-sprawl movement's version of urban renewal?