Detroit Could Become Countryside, Planners Say

A team of visiting planners suggested that Detroit could evolve into a series of urban villages connected by countryside.
May 30, 2009, 9am PDT | Tim Halbur
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"The idea may sound improbable, but Alan Mallach, a New Jersey-based planner who led the visiting team, said Detroit is evolving in that direction anyway, with large chunks of the city now largely abandoned.

"In a way, think of it as a 21st-Century version of a traditional country pattern," Mallach said. "You have high-density development on one side of the street and cows on the other, quite literally."

The team's recommendations, contained in a draft report by a committee of the American Institute of Architects, are the latest in a flurry of ideas for dealing with Detroit's growing vacancy.

Detroit's population is less than half of its 1950s peak, and an estimated 40 square miles of the 139-square-mile city are empty."

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Published on Friday, May 22, 2009 in Detroit Free Press
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