Monday, June 15, 2009

Future Watch: Forced relocation of persons who own property in "abandoned" areas.

Yes, they can.

UK Telegraph Online
US cities may have to be bulldozed in order to survive
Dozens of US cities may have entire neighbourhoods bulldozed as part of drastic "shrink to survive" proposals being considered by the Obama administration to tackle economic decline.
By Tom Leonard in Flint, Michigan
Published: 6:30PM BST 12 Jun 2009

The government [is] looking at expanding a pioneering scheme in Flint, one of the poorest US cities, which involves razing entire districts and returning the land to nature.

Local politicians believe the city must contract by as much as 40 per cent, concentrating the dwindling population and local services into a more viable area...

...Mr Kildee said he will concentrate on 50 cities, identified in a recent study by the Brookings Institution, an influential Washington think-tank, as potentially needing to shrink substantially to cope with their declining fortunes.

Most are former industrial cities in the "rust belt" of America's Mid-West and North East. They include Detroit, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Memphis...

..."Places like Flint have hit rock bottom. They're at the point where it's better to start knocking a lot of buildings down," she said...

...Unemployment is now approaching 20 per cent and the total population has almost halved to 110,000.

The exodus – particularly of young people – coupled with the consequent collapse in property prices, has left street after street in sections of the city almost entirely abandoned...

...If the city didn't downsize it will eventually go bankrupt, he added.

Flint's recovery efforts have been helped by a new state law passed a few years ago which allowed local governments to buy up empty properties very cheaply...

...Choosing which areas to knock down will be delicate but many of them were already obvious, he said.

The city is buying up houses in more affluent areas to offer people in neighbourhoods it wants to demolish. Nobody will be forced to move, said Mr Kildee...

Not at first, but if there are only a handful of holdouts in your subdivision or district, do you think the city is going to keep on paving that road and providing the holdouts with urban services? No, they aren't.

People who own properties outside the city core will be forced to relocate when the electricity, sewer, water and maintenance is cut off from their area. At that point, their homes will be in violation of building codes for failing to have sewer service, etc., and the commissioners will make them leave, at gunpoint if necessary. No doubt they will be paid some inadequate stipend for their property, but it will not be enough, probably not even close to being enough, to buy an equivalent home elsewhere.

They will lose everything.

And you'll notice that the cities have no plans to turn this land into agricultural use for relocalization and sustainability of food resources. No, they intend to let it grow wild while food prices shoot through the roof due to the globalization and factory farming of food which requires incredibly unsustainable petroleum inputs.

If you think this is stupid, you might want to contact your Senators and Representatives and say so. Otherwise, the food situation in America is going to deteriorate rapidly - not to mention the idea of forcing people into de facto collectives called "urban zones" like the radical environmentalists have always wanted is insane, to say the least.

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