Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The End of the City in America

The fate of cities across America is fragile many cities are on the edge of insolvency and bankruptcy. The states in which these cities are incorporated in are also facing severe fiscal problems and budgetary shortcomings. It is prudent therefore to have a discussion on a number of issues from regionalism to quality of living in face of these severe financial realities confronting american cities.

Many of these cities because of these dire financial distress provide less services to their residents from fewer police and fire department services to street lights being shuttered to EMS response times being extended and certain calls being ignored completely. The spectrum of a complete shutdown of city services is no longer a script in a science fiction novel but a real time reality for public employees in our cities.

Some residents in city neighborhoods are locking themselves and families in barricaded homes. The very idea of state national guards taking over law enforcement duties in many bankrupted cities across the nation is real and on the agenda of many city planners and state legislatures. The EFM legislation currently unfolding in Lansing many have argued is a blueprint for the takeover of Detroit .

With this new downsized urban centers there has been an increase in vigilante groups, religious cults and people hibernating within their homes only coming out in the day time and rushing to return to home before the night comes to fill the air. When there is despair in the city air it fosters and cultivates paranoia, urban myths, and fear.

In the face of this devolution of american cities across the country it is imperative that strategies and ideas must be developed to confront the end of cities. This examination of cities and life in this new economic and social, political reality however dos not have to be a negative or crisis proposition. Life can be come renewed and reenergize if we have the courage to design a new urban frontier.

Regionalized cities which are the consolidation of other failed cities could create a platform of better services, improved schools and better over all quality of life in the neighborhood that are arteries of life in our urban locations. People simply are no longer loyal to cities and are more interested in their quality of life.

What is driving people living in the new world order is the right to live quality life styles and living conditions that empower good food, safe streets, fresh air, beautiful surroundings, people who want to love life instead of battling decay and decadence.

The equation for a new city maybe the complete destruction and collapse of the old city and its borders and boundaries. People want their lives to be purposeful and meaningful, they don't care who or what government agency is picking up the trash, policing the streets and where the water and lights come from. People want service that work and make their lives more livable.

Designing a new city begins with the objective and desires of those living in the old city and those living outside the city. It may even require that cities no longer be called cities but renamed and redefined as Urban Regions with one police department, one school district, one water board, one energy company, one health department, one park and recreation


BigmacInPittsburgh said...

I believe your vision for future cities in America is sound on paper.
And here's that BUT you knew was coming,many who have escape the decadence and crime and other social ills of our urban centers want no part of this ideal.
Just using Allegheny County,Pennsylvania where the city of Pittsburgh is located,there are 130 different townships and cities with overlapping services and governments.Few if any of these municipalities are willing to relinquish their source of power and control.
And let's not forget the 800 pound gorilla in the room race and class ism.

Thrasher said...


Good feedback BUT I opine that the nature of economics, resources, technology makes this consolidation a natural consequence of the new world order...

Race and class can actually be trumped by laws of the global new order plus people of color now live in these regional venues..

BigmacInPittsburgh said...

Thrasher:You are a lot more confident about this new world order ideal or reality,then I.
Your post has inspired me to learn more on this new world order.
But what I do know for a fact getting entrenched people to change and do the right thing on these pressing issues is a monumental task.

Thrasher said...


You are right on about the nature of folks who don't embrace change...I argue that the nature of reality changes people instead of people adapting to change..

Good feedback ..Keep it coming:-)

no_slappz said...

A bunch of silly stuff, you've got there.

There will never be a master plan for central control of the location and development of US cities.

Meanwhile, the dying cities, like Detroit, are in trouble because the local economies are overly dependent on one major industry that is overly influenced by unions.

If the government stepped back and removed regulations that limit the ability of businesses to grow, then employment and prosperity would increase and even the most troubled cities would recover.

But your plan is nothing more than the imposition of a government that is very close to being a dictatorship.