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MindSpinner

I thought this article on the downsizing of Detroit thought provoking: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/mar/09/detroit-looks-at-downsizing-to-save-city/ .

Lots of questions - How does a city downsize over the course of decades? Who benefits from the "new land" that opens up? What are the choices? Choke and die? Succumb to gang turf wars? Empty and crumble? Transition to villages with green spaces that enhance sustainability?

What can we learn from earlier moments in history - the years following the Black Death, for example? Perhaps something, but people were differently skilled then, capable of eking a living from the land. How fast can we unlearn what must be unlearned, toss what doesn't work, claim what promises hope, and re-skill ourselves to better face emerging realities?

Watching how this species navigates the next half century will be fascinating, with potential for incredible human resourcefulness on the one hand and for Greek tragedy writ large on the other . We'll see both, no doubt. For this act, to a degree Shakespeare likely never imagined, all the world's the stage.

keith

One month from now, my city will die. On April 18, the lifts close for the season and roughly one quarter of the population leaves the next week. Gone. To southern hemisphere ski areas. To warmer climates. To summer jobs in the forest. Gone.

The grizzlies wake and stumble out looking for their first spring snack. The ducks drop into the pond and the geese waddle across the golf course greens looking for bugs and stealing errant balls.

The city slowly revives with the opening of fishing on the Elk River in mid June. Mountain biking brings some. Hiking a few. But it is slow.

And in the fall, once again folks with funny accents--Aussies, Kiwis, Brits and a few from the continent--seemingly lost, wander into town. The Québécois arrive with their dogs and skateboards.

By early December, the lights are back on, the restaurants full and the bars hopping with live music and dancing ‘til dawn.

Or maybe we move into a modestly developed form of civil hibernation each summer.

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