Detroit’s mayor wants to “shrink” the city

detroit building demolition

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“If we don’t do it, you know this whole city is going to go down. I’m hopeful people will understand that,” Bing said. “If we can incentivize some of those folks that are in those desolate areas, they can get a better situation.”

Detroit Mayor Bing emphasizes need to shrink city
Mayor says it’s not ‘an easy conversation,’ but people, services must be focused to save city

Christine MacDonald / The Detroit News / Feb 2010

Detroit –Mayor Dave Bing said Wednesday he “absolutely” intends to relocate residents from desolate neighborhoods and is bracing for inevitable legal challenges when he unveils his downsizing plan.

In his strongest statements about shrinking the city since taking office, Bing told WJR-760 AM the city is using internal and external data to decide “winners and losers.” The city plans to save some neighborhoods and encourage residents to move from others, he said.

“If we don’t do it, you know this whole city is going to go down. I’m hopeful people will understand that,” Bing said. “If we can incentivize some of those folks that are in those desolate areas, they can get a better situation.”

The simple truth is Bing is right. The city doesn’t have the money to support the land mass it has in the city limits. The simple solution does not involve relocating anyone. The simple solution is to redefine the boundaries of the city.

Years ago the city annexed more and more land, well now it is time to de-annex portions of the city. Then the city will simply let those areas be rural. If they are in need of police services they will need to contact the county. If they need other city services they will need to go elsewhere. But the simple fact is the city can’t afford to cover the land it has and the only reasonable solution is to cut back to an area that it can support.

Who knows maybe some of the outer areas will be swallowed by other neighboring towns… or they may remain rural. That is life, get used to it.

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“If they stay where they are I absolutely cannot give them all the services they require.”

He said there’s no timeline, price tag or estimate on the number of people who would have to be moved, but said federal funding would be needed. Bing said he plans to focus on the neighborhoods in which Detroit Public Schools plans to build schools with $500.5 million in bonds voters approved last year.

“You can’t support every neighborhood,” Bing told WJR’s Frank Beckmann. “You can’t support every community across this city. Those communities that are stable, we can’t allow them to go down the tubes. That’s not a good business decision from my vantage point.” You can read the full article at Detroit Free Press.

Detroit: The Post-Apocalyptic Future of American Cities?

By Al Martin | Raw Magazine | July 2009

Here’s a glimpse of a Turn Key Approach to Urban Wasteland Management ™. Last week I had a chance to talk to a friend who just got back from Detroit and boy did he get an eyeful of America’s Future. After listening to him describe Detroit , it’s obvious that it has all fallen apart. First of all, there’s very little civil authority or regular civil government remaining and in operation. Almost everything has been turned over to these so-called Private Management Companies. And this is how it’s being done.

detroit building demolition

They block out areas, in which 80% or more of the houses have been foreclosed on, which happens to be almost the entire city and county. They have selectively begun to bulldoze the properties which have been foreclosed on. The rest have been boarded up. Then they have turned over management of these 100 block area to private companies which have become defacto governments. They have the literal authority of “governments” and they’re paid a flat fee from the city, county or state to “manage,” as they say, a square block of this urban wasteland.

These Private Management Companies sell themselves as residual property management firms. Most of these companies, as it turns out, are in fact off-shore subsidiaries of Private Military Contractors (PMCs). They provide a catchall service. In other words, they regulate how much electrical power and natural gas flows through these areas. They also act as police force, and they act as management for local civil government.

However this Urban Wasteland Management has been pretty efficient. They want to protect what remaining wealthy areas that still exist, like Bloomfield Hills. These companies come in and effectively build large barbed wire fences, around these mostly abandoned square block areas. Some people are still living in them, by the way, even though most of them are boarded up because they’re no longer bothering to serve process through the entire foreclosure procedure. Oftentimes once the house has been taken back and is ultimately owned by the city or county or some government, they let the people stay there until it’s abandoned and then taken over by squatters. Then they’re given a 72 hour notice to leave, by this private management company – before they come in and bulldoze the house. If you’re not out, that’s it. The bulldozers run. They can bulldoze the place with you in it – with legal impunity. You can read the full article by Al Martin here.

Here is an eye witness account of a current Detroit resident regarding the accuracy of the article concerning Detroit’s occupation by PMCs, as well as some photographs of recent demolitions:

“I work in Farmington Hills (one of those wealthy areas they spoke of in the article) which is about 12 miles west of “hell”. You won’t see what is described in the article from the main roads (like Grand River Ave) but if you go a block over in any direction – you will see it, and much more. The nay-sayers on these comments are not leaving the main drags if they are not seeing it (and I don’t advise anyone to leave the main drags unless they know the city well – it is a very dangerous place – and that’s no joke). But yes – near the sports stadiums, the remaining forces of Detroit police try to keep it looking as normal as possible so the suburbanites will continue to come to sporting events and spend cash. If you are getting off I-75 and going into a parking deck – you won’t see much at all. Take a trip to the Cass Corridor (during daylight hours) – tell me what you think. Go see “Brewster Projects” – tell me what you think. Just be sure to wear your ’second chance’ vest. Detroit is a very sad place right now. Sadly, I don’t see it improving any time soon.”

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