Coercion for Compact Development
Progs react with condescension whenever grassroots activists warn that the one of the goals of Smart Growth is to force people into smaller living areas. They say Smart Growth/New Urbanism/Livability/Sustainable Development simply promotes “housing choice” and that densification efforts will only be modest.
According to Bloomberg, “Detroit, whose 139 square miles contain 60 percent fewer residents than in 1950, will try to nudge them into a smaller living space by eliminating almost half its streetlights.” Says the city’s chief operating officer: “You have to identify those neighborhoods where you want to concentrate your population. We’re not going to light distressed areas like we light other areas.”
What’s behind this? On the surface, it’s a fiscal crisis. Detroit cannot afford to fix it’s 88,000 streetlights, so in an effort to save $10 million the city is going to only fix and light 46,000. An urban area without streetlights will see plummeting property values and people will flee to safer areas. This is the city’s way to retrofit itself into a smaller, more compact city.
What was it Rahm Emanuel said, “Never let a crisis go to waste.”