Sunday, July 21, 2013

Living in Detroit Makes Me Think All Greater Metro Areas Should Be Amalgamated

Reading this brief post by Robert Reich on Detroit led me to have the knee jerk reaction that all cities she be amalgamated into their greater metropolitan areas. The damage caused by wealth segregation in these areas is potentially enormous, as Detroit so clearly shows. Something that has really struck me since moving here is the plethora of tiny, tiny municipalities that exist. Some of them so small that a good football kicker could probably punt across their entire city limits (I'm barely exaggerating).

While the inequality issues are enormous, there is also the issue of huge inefficiency of it. How many city halls does one metro area need? How much could we reduce the government footprint if all these small towns were amalgamated? While too great of centralization can be a problem there's really no defense for cities of less than 10,000 that don't have a visible break from the central city they are so obviously a part of.

Obviously there are too many entrenched interests and Detroit is too weak of a central hub for this issue to be resolved in the near term but I can at least complain about how completely crazy the situation is. Amalgamate the metro area and Detroit's problems would basically be solved. Not overnight, of course, but the right incentives and necessary resources would be available to make a long term solution just about inevitable.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting that amalgamation approach is the one that China is taking for its megacity in the Shenzhen area, and has already taken for some cities such as Shanghai that have provincial-level status.