GOOD.is just flat out rocks. A new series of articles, the GOOD 100, includes a piece featuring Dan Kildee‘s hard-to-argue-with rationale for bulldozing abandoned sections of Flint, Michigan. Kildee has had all sorts of shit flung his way from both sides of the aisle. Why? Because common sense has run him up against prevailing wisdom like a Hobie cat against the Cliffs of Dover. One line essentially sums it up: “Is our American obsession with growth and expansion so pervasive that a community would rather fail at being large than succeed and become a smaller place?”
It is a question Floridian cities of all sizes should ask themselves. With 27% of retail space vacant in Orlando, Fort Myers-Cape Coral leading the nation in foreclosure rate, and the first drop in the state’s population in sixty years, the land of sunshine is finally getting burnt by the growth-economy scheme it’s been running since the 1920s. Now that growth is no longer viable the state will lean ever harder on luring retirees with high fixed incomes (a house of cards as flimsy as growth) and tourists (an industry dependent on a robust national economy).
A willingness to shrink, to consolidate, to un-sprawl and develop real places where real residents work real jobs in real industries might be the only thing that can save Florida from ruin. Until global warming makes it the world’s most interesting dive site, that is…
Check out the article, “Small is Beautiful: The case for shrinking cities.”