Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Managed Decline

So, I've been thinking some more about the response that cities might take to the particularly destructive exit of a large employer.  An extreme example of what can happen can be seen in Detroit which I'm hoping to visit on my trip.  I think I was first made aware of what was happening here via this incredible set of photos published last year in The Observer.  The memory of these images has stuck in my head every since but is only coming to the surface now.  Image 6 of that gallery of the Central Station just blows my mind - it's only just over a mile from the city centre yet lies almost totally in ruins.  

But until the other week I didn't know that the process of strategically withdrawing from a city or region has an actual sociological name and is studied as a phenomenon in itself: Planned Shrinkage.  

This kind of dramatic approach to managing adverse external economic events obviously has huge societal and individual impacts - one of things that I'd hope to understand more about on my trip.  

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