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April 22nd, 2011
Shrinking Cities
[VIDEO] Designing the city of the future

Out of the mouths of babes…

For more than two years now we at Blueprint America have been reporting on the state of our nation’s infrastructure. We’ve been looking at what’s broken, what’s working and asking whether policy makers have a vision for the future. It’s an important subject because whether and how we invest in infrastructure has everything to do with the quality and shape of the communities we live in. Yet sometimes, especially when we focus on zoning laws or funding streams, it can all start to seem rather abstract. But in our story, Future Detroit, a group of middle-schoolers who live in a broken down section of Detroit’s west side show in the simplest of terms how good infrastructure can make “people happier.”

The mayor of Detroit is promoting a controversial new plan to “right-size” the city. He may offer cash incentives to residents to leave vacant neighborhoods. The goal is to make the city more efficient in delivering services to its citizens.

But Detroit’s “rightsizing” plan is also about imagining a new city — and the imagination isn’t limited to city government. In fact, some of the great new ideas are coming from citizens who aren’t old enough to vote. This story about some of Detroit’s youngest city planners comes from Detroit Public Television.

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