Shrinking cities

Beleaguered Flint, Mich., has a radical fix for its decline

The auto manufacturing city of Flint, Mich., has been suffering through hard times for years now. Countless efforts to slow its decline have been fruitless. But the latest proposal to fix Flint is the most radical yet: tear down entire blocks, even neighbourhoods, rather than waiting for them to become abandoned. The idea is to shrink Flint into a few healthy areas. “Decline in Flint is like gravity, a fact of life,” one local official tells the New York Times, “We need to control it instead of letting it control us.” It could become a model for other cities struggling with foreclosures.

New York Times