Paging Bill Allen: “Blight is eating American cities. Here’s how Mobile, Alabama, stopped it.”


Long article, good article.

Blight is eating American cities. Here’s how Mobile, Alabama, stopped it, by Hana Schank (Fast Company)

The story of blight in Mobile, Alabama, is the story of the rich and poor in America, of unregulated real estate, and of centuries of inequality. But in Mobile, a small team figured out how to change the narrative.

… This is the story of how one city reduced blight, but it is also the story of what happens when cities think differently about how to solve their problems, when politicians are willing to embrace policies that might not line up with the party line, when city workers look beyond band-aid solutions. It is the story of how cities can do good things for their residents, and how people can work across the city to unravel knotty problems that are centuries in the making. While the crafters of the Alabama constitution wrote the document as a giant middle finger to the rest of the nation, to the government, and to any elected official who might ever try to wield power, Mobile’s modern-day residents have discovered that they need government’s help. They perhaps don’t want to be left alone as much as Mobilians did a century ago. They see their perpetual potential …