Published on May 26th, 2012 | by Steven Hodson


Detroit’s Plan For Urban Re-Organization? Turning Off The Streetlights

As a result of the economic downturn many cities are having to do a lot of re-evaluating on how they provide their services, and to whom, as in some cases there is a population decrease such as we have seen in cities like Detroit.

This depopulation is no small matter either as Detroit has seen a 60% fewer residents than it did in the 1950’s at the automotive manufacturing heyday. It is so bad that many of the great buildings in the city are being left to rot and vanish from view.

However the city has a real problem being able to afford to maintain services to those areas of the city where there are fewer and fewer residents, which has resulted in a project being spearheaded by Detroit Mayor Dave Bing called Detroit Works.

The idea behind the project is to find ways to reorganize, and reconfigure, Detroit and one of those ways is to try and do anything they can to encourage residents and businesses in those more sparsely populated areas to move to the more populated areas.

Since the city is unable to help the move along by taking over the properties through the use of “eminent domain” they are going to ‘phase out’ such services as city streetlights, or just leaving them turned off since forty percent of Detroit’s streetlights are currently broken.

This action will leave about 713,000 in twenty Detroit neighborhoods, these are the ones with on 10 to 15 percent occupancy, without any streetlights at night. This is an area equal, or larger, in size than the cities of Boston, Buffalo, and San Francisco combined.

The state legislature still has to approve the proposal but seriously what makes the city think that the people will even be able to move from these already destitute sections of the city into the part still being serviced given that these are already poor people. This could actually have a very detrimental effect on the city because you can be assured that those ‘vacated’ sections of the city will quickly find themselves being taken over and controlled by gangs.

via io9 / image courtesy of io9 (Demodragon)



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About the Author

Steven has been around the tech world long enough to see most of the stuff we think of cool happen before which leads to a certain bit of cynicism that has contributed to him being known as the cranky old fart of the Internet. Besides sharing some of the goodness that he finds with you here at 42x you can also find him curating some digital goodness at Winextra (tech type stuff) and Rotten Gumdrops (for your daily dose of WTF).

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