Don't Whine About the Census, Detroit: Embrace It

Two op-eds: The city can get better even as it gets smaller
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 23, 2011 11:59 AM CDT
A real estate sign is shown in a Detroit neighborhood Tuesday, March 22, 2011.   (AP Photo/ Paul Sancya)
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(Newser) – Detroit's staggering population loss over the last decade—some 237,500 people—has city politicians predictably calling for a census recount, but two opinion pieces think it's a waste of time. Better to focus on the new, smaller Detroit:

  • Detroit Free Press editorial: "The important thing now is for everyone to accept that this is a fundamentally changed city, a hollowed-out version of the Detroit that boasted 1.8 million people in the mid-1950s." City leaders "must focus on creating critical mass in the areas that still have solid population bases, and come up with a credible plan to abandon the infrastructure in other areas, or find suitable, low-impact uses for them."

  • Laura Berman, Detroit News: "Has it occurred to anyone that smaller might be beautiful?" she asks. Use the census figures to reimagine a better city, one that's "reconfigured into dense neighborhoods rather than half-vacant tracts," as Mayor Bing has proposed. "With great parks, an abundance of new gardens, major universities and the initiative of a few bold corporations and their leaders, Detroit can seize this moment as the city that's fallen back to Earth."

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