Detroit Works Project and Mayor Dave Bing

Posted in DETROIT by urbanmi on September 18, 2010

Earlier this week, Dave Bing held the first of six Detroit Strategic Framework Meetings with neighborhood constituents to discuss “The Detroit Works Project,” a land-use plan that aims to shrink the city using land more efficiently allowing for better use of the budget.

Major concerns of constituents as pointed out by the Warrendale Blog:

  • The police don’t show up when they’re needed.
  • There aren’t any retail stores in my neighborhood.
  • My taxes are outrageously high.

The consolidation of cities addresses all of these issues.  Through consolidation all services have the potential to improve since they are able to use their budgets more effectively.  Covering smaller areas allows them to use more dollars per square mile than in the current layout of Detroit.  Police will be able to respond to calls more quickly with less city to cover, more police per square mile.  Consolidation if implemented correctly will improve safety within the city.  Garbage collection, street maintenance, bus services, can all improve when the city is responsible for less area.

One of the issues with having retail in Detroit or addressing the problems of food deserts in the city, is that the population is too spread out to operate these businesses profitably.  By densifying the city stores will have more people to market their products which will make them more profitable and make it more feasible to open additional retail in Detroit.

Although this is unlikely, taxes can potentially decrease through consolidation.  With the city responsible for less land area the government will be able to do more with less.

I want Detroit to be a strong, vibrant, livable city, and I believe consolidation must be implemented.  Detroit as it exists now, is too large for its population.  The community is too spread out making it harder to create neighborhoods, attract businesses and provide security and services.  Last year’s Detroit Free Press graphic implies the relationship between healthy cities and population density.

Further Reading:

An earlier video on consolidation of neighborhoods from CNN.