Flint: Harbinger, Not Outlier

7 thoughts on “Flint: Harbinger, Not Outlier”

  1. May be true for some places. Your example of Rockville, IL was interesting, but it ranks dead last in the country in “satisfaction” measures and seems to be one of many cases of “stranded architectual resources” that no longer have a need to remain (largest example of this is likely Buffalo, and it at least has SUNY-B, while Rockville has….. Chicago.). Your description of Flint is apt, and it applies somewhat to my historic town as well, but probably far more to places like the Rhine neighborhood in Cincy or some of the handsome-but-abandoned parts of St. Louis

  2. I think the difference is that places in the Sun Belt are denser on average and built with more efficient infrastructure given a specific urban form. So they are easier to retrofit. Water infrastructure, in particular, is usually kept on reasonable or good condition because it is scarcer and more than one order of magnitude more expensive to source than in the “wet” areas of US. I was recently reading how Phoenix (metro area) has tripled its population over last 40 years while keeping total (not per capita) water consumption a mere 30% higher than then.

    1. Phoenix is an interesting case because it actually has a very small lot size, on average, with the largest lots being an acre at most. And now the development in Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe is going vertical, with light rail providing an incentive to create TODs.

      It’s not all bad news here.

      1. This vertical development is such a trivial part of the built environment in Phoenix, though. I mean, why would one even live in Phoenix if one doesn’t want the mythical single family house cheap!

    1. It isn’t infrastructure OR pensions. It’s infrastructure AND pensions. And it’s everywhere. Like I said, older cities are just ahead of the curve. All the shiny new cul-de-sacs and strip malls in the Sun Belt are headed to the same place as the older stuff in the Rust Belt. Eventually.

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