04-23-09

Shrinking Flint

hacked-houseCleveland hacked-house rendering by Gauri Torgalkar, CUDC

The New York Times recently posted an article on how Flint, Michigan is planning to deal with its city’s depopulation and vacancy by demolishing entire neighborhoods. The idea is that speeding up the process of decline in certain sections of the city will consolidate any housing demand that remains into a few viable areas.

Housing demolition as a reaction to vacancy is occurring in Cleveland as well.  The City is currently planning to remove 2,000 homes this year. Not only will most of the embodied energy of these structures be lost in a landfill, but the fabric of the neighborhoods will also be forever changed.  Can the abandoned structures still be used as urban greenhouses or biocellars? What sort of neighborhoods are we creating if we add 2,000 new voids a year?  Could these new acres of land be put to productive use? 

by david jurca

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