More from Lars Gräbner:
The city of Detroit has labored under the mistaken premise that a city that once almost had two million residents will regain its population and with that the needed tax base. After tumultuous years of battling with the loss of population and the paradoxical attempt to maintain the original infrastructure, services, and administration, the city and its citizens have come to the realization that the situation will need to be faced with a different approach. For the first time the city government leaders have used the term ‘right sizing’, also referred to as ‘shrinking.’ With the awareness that the population will not grow, the city has entered a new era of realism.
Numerous organizations are already working on ideas and concepts to not only acknowledge the situation, but also find ways to tackle the new direction. The excess supply of fragmented vacant land allows no clear prediction of how the city might develop and in which way the built and spatial environment will adapt to the situation. Based on the traditional means of planning, the new city is hardly amenable to planning. An unconventional and creative strategic framework is inevitably necessary.