An Effort to Save a City by Shrinking It

Commercial Real Estate Agent with NAI Tampa Bay

What a terrific idea! I would think that this approach could be successful in different scales in many areas where populations have dried up along with jobs and hope.

Certain parts of cleveland would look better, be safer and more enjoyable if the houses were gone and parks and open space existed instead.

fort jefferson

Below find the beginning of the article and the full story is provided in the link found here and below the story.

FLINT, Mich. — Dozens of proposals have been floated over the years to slow this city’s endless decline. Now another idea is gaining support: speed it up.

Instead of waiting for houses to become abandoned and then pulling them down, local leaders are talking about demolishing entire blocks and even whole neighborhoods. The population would be condensed into a few viable areas. So would stores and services. A city built to manufacture cars would be returned in large measure to the forest primeval.

“Decline in Flint is like gravity, a fact of life,” said Dan Kildee, the Genesee County treasurer and chief spokesman for the movement to shrink Flint. “We need to control it instead of letting it control us.”

The recession in Flint, as in many old-line manufacturing cities, is quickly making a bad situation worse. Firefighters and police officers are being laid off as the city struggles with a $15 million budget deficit. Many public schools are likely to be closed.

“A lot of people remember the past, when we were a successful city that others looked to as a model, and they hope. But you can’t base government policy on hope,” said Jim Ananich, president of the Flint City Council. “We have to do something drastic.”

In searching for a way out, Flint is becoming a model for a different era.

Planned shrinkage became a workable concept in Michigan a few years ago, when the state changed its laws regarding properties foreclosed for delinquent taxes. Before, these buildings and land tended to become mired in legal limbo, contributing to blight. Now they quickly become the domain of county land banks, giving communities a powerful tool for change.



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Steve Loynd
Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., - Lincoln, NH
800-926-5653, White Mountains NH

Sean...This is an interesting proposal, making parks out of urban blight who most definitely cut down on the cost of maintaining the power grid, snow plowing, and neighborhood police requirements. But asking people to move , making it mandatory, or taking property by eminent domain will also come with an initial cost. Great way to think out of the box in any case.

Apr 22, 2009 01:38 AM #1
Shirley Parks
Sands Realty 210-414-0966 - San Antonio, TX
Broker, 210-414-0966, San Antonio TX Real Estate

"Planned shrinkage" may be a smart way to go.  They say we are in a shrinking economy so it is wise to plan ahead, Sean

Apr 22, 2009 01:53 AM #2
Sean Dreznin
NAI Tampa Bay - Sarasota, FL
Commercial Investment Real Estate Agent


I love this idea.  I am from Sarasota, Fl originally and I don't see the idea of reducing through razing working there at all, but in Youngstown, Ohio and Flint, Michigan for example, I can see it making great strides.


Thanks for the comment!



Apr 22, 2009 02:27 AM #3
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Oct 25, 2009 12:28 AM #4
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