Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Cure for Urban Sprawl

Urban Sprawl is a problem. Not only does it affect wildlife negatively, it impedes my hawking (which is really the point after all). I've written about loss of habitat before, and took this picture just the other afternoon when dropping the kids off at a neighbors (notice the soccer net in the background of this well manicured lawn).

It seems that some of our political leaders have come up with a superb idea.

It seems that in this age of downsizing, the mcmansions of yesterday are sometimes lying empty, and whole city blocks exist without inhabitants. Some cities have decided that instead of maintaining these sparsely populated centers, it makes more fiscal sense to doze them and return them to natural habitat.

Sounds like great rabbit hawking opportunities to me.

Cool Green Science provides the link for this article:

A story last week in the Telegraph, a British paper, describes how the city of Flint, Mich., a former industrial powerhouse now facing depopulation and plummeting home values, is dealing with vacant housing.

The solution? Bulldoze entire districts, returning the land to nature, and concentrate the population in the urban core.

The Telegraph’s Tom Leonard reports that the idea is the brainchild of Dan Kildee, treasurer of Genesee County, which includes Flint.

He said: “The obsession with growth is sadly a very American thing. Across the US, there’s an assumption that all development is good, that if communities are growing they are successful. If they’re shrinking, they’re failing.”

But some Flint dustcarts are collecting just one rubbish bag a week, roads are decaying, police are very understaffed and there were simply too few people to pay for services, he said.

If the city didn’t downsize it will eventually go bankrupt, he added.

The article reports that the city has already demolished 1,100 abandoned homes, and that Mr. Kildee estimates that another 3,000 will need to come down. Overall, local officials believe that the city will need to contract its area.

More and more people are moving to the urban centers and leaving the 'burbs behind. Apparently, per capita, it is cheaper to live in the city.

The rest of the article can be found here.

I don't personally think I could do it. Too many people all squished together. Oh, and where would the chickens live?

But bulldoze unused suburban sprawl and returning it to green space, capital idea!

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