Detroit is conducting a massive, mile-by-mile survey of its shrinking self to decide which neighborhoods to save and which have become too depopulated to maintain, The New York Times reports.
With just under 714,000 people, as of the latest U.S. Census, Detroit has half the number of residents it did 40 years ago.
The rapid, relentless emptying-out has left city officials with a new job: Downsize a grid of 139 square miles, containing more than 100,000 unused land parcels, in an orderly way that minimizes disruption and dislocation for those who stay.
Late this month, planners are expected to unveil a proposed map of Detroit’s municipal future, with redrawn boundaries for such basic services as bus routes, police districts, and utility lines.
Residents of neighborhoods that are targeted for shutdown will be encouraged to relocate, a step that city officials expect will meet with some resistance, especially since the city now has eminent domain authority.
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