Right-sizing Detroit could be key to survival, revival, renewal

The city still acts as if it has nearly two million people sometimes... but it's less than half that. The consensus is, among urban planners, that the city needs to shrink to survive and renew itself.


Urban planners insist -- and Detroit's political leaders are beginning to acknowledge -- that the city cannot continue to function as if nearly 2 million people still live there. That tax base is long gone, taking with it the money required to maintain city services and a crumbling infrastructure.

"Detroit once had 1.8 million people, and it's not likely that that number is going to come back in the next two to three decades -- if ever," said Dan Kildee, Genesee County treasurer and a national advocate for downsizing initiatives.

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