Detroit wants to save itself by shrinking

A vacant house near City Airport is seen Feb. 23, 2010 in Detroit. After decades of decline that gutted many once-vibrant neighborhoods, Detroit is preparing a radical renewal effort on a scale never attempted in this country: returning a large swath of the city to fields or farmland, much like it was in the middle of the 19th century. Under plans now being refined, demolition crews would move through the most desolate and decayed areas of urban Detroit with building-chomping excavators, reducing houses to rubble. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio) (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

March 9, 2010 9:04:37 AM PST
Detroit, the very symbol of American industrial might for most of the 20th century, is drawing up a radical renewal plan that calls for turning large swaths of this now-blighted, rusted-out city back into the fields and farmland that existed before the automobile.