Thursday, March 24, 2011
I've posted several times on the plight of my hometown Detroit, but this NYT article really summarizes the challenges in a stark way:
Laying bare the country’s most startling example of modern urban collapse, census data on Tuesday showed that Detroit’s population had plunged by 25 percent over the last decade. It was dramatic testimony to the crumbling industrial base of the Midwest, black flight to the suburbs and the tenuous future of what was once a thriving metropolis.
It was the largest percentage drop in history for any American city with more than 100,000 residents, apart from the unique situation of New Orleans, where the population dropped by 29 percent after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, said Andrew A. Beveridge, a sociologist at Queens College.
The number of people who vanished from Detroit — 237,500 — was bigger than the 140,000 who left New Orleans.
That's statistically amazing. A city could lose more people on its own than what an epic natural disaster like Hurricane Katrina could cause.
At some point, does abandonment of certain parts of the city become a possible option?