From Flint, MI via the NYT.
The depressing sign above shows the deeply entrenched mentality that we who care about wise use of resources / preservation are up against - the 1950s era mentality that disposing of the old is somehow forward momentum, modern, green - whatever the buzzword of the day is.
Flint clearly faces different challenges than we do here; it is a struggle my own hometown of New Orleans has had to deal with for very different reasons / circumstances, but with the same net result - more old, often-abused houses than you have population or projected population to inhabit. There isn't an easy answer there, other than moving geographically dispersed structures closer together, and, where demolition becomes a sad necessity, recycling the building materials.
But it should never be a cause for celebration - simply the sad duty of a city that faces striking, pervasive, and persistent economic decline.
We haven't been in that situation, fortunately, and the reasoning for demolition of old structures as we seek new housing for in-migrants, homeless folks, as well as start-up businesses, etc. is shoddy at best.
I'm particularly bugged by the new trend of using 'green building' as a justification for replacing an existing building - or at least an attempt to obfuscate the demolition through touting how the new structure will save the planet. Note the Human Services Complex, or the new structure that replaced the bungalow that once stood on the corner of Markham and Gregson. The latter is on a green building tour this weekend; no offense to the architects, who I am sure designed a very energy efficient house, but the inconvenient truth is that tearing down an old structure to build a new structure is not 'green' - however diluted that is now. Good for them for building something that is energy/resource efficient rather than a McMansion, but as a colleague of mine used to say - that don't make it right.