What Happens to a Closed-Down Auto Plant?

The bankruptcy of Chrysler may sound like good news to critics of American auto culture, but the resulting job losses and plant closures are poised to deal a serious blow to already-struggling midwestern towns. Which is why it’s heartening to see that the Obama administration is working on a plan to help clean up the land surrounding shuttered plants and give it back to its rightful owners in local communities.

chrys.jpgChrysler workers leaving a plant (Photo: New York Times)

Inside the EPA, a trade publication in Washington, reported this week that the government will pay for revitalizing closed auto plants that would otherwise be at risk for joining the list of environmentally blighted Superfund sites. "Local land use" will also be a priority in turning the sites back over for future use, according to the report.

Could we soon see parks or even bike trails being built where domestic manufacturing plants once stood? That change will be a long time coming, but at least the process has begun.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

GM’s Ransom Note to America

|
With the president-elect, Congress and the current White House divided on how or if American taxpayers should save the domestic auto industry, General Motors is taking its case directly to the public with this video and accompanying web site. More threat than appeal, the message, in a nutshell, is "Do it, or else." On gmfactsandfiction.com, […]

Hudson River Greenway Closure Forces Cyclists Onto Unmarked Detour

|
The Hudson River Greenway is the most heavily used bike path in the United States, carrying roughly one-seventh of all cyclists entering Manhattan below 50th Street. In Upper Manhattan, where there are fewer bike lanes and much less on-street protection for cyclists than further south, it is truly the backbone of the bike network. Despite […]

Nano Technology

|
The much-hyped and much-criticized Tata Nano, a car that will hit the Indian market retailing for a mere 100,000 rupees — the equivalent of $2,500 — got a perplexing nod of approval from the Economist newsmagazine last week: Commuting in India’s cities can be both cosy and deadly. Children squeeze snugly between father at the […]

Pelosi, Reid and Emanuel Push for Carmaker Bailout

|
Cadillac assembly line replica at the Detroit Historical Museum Over the weekend, Democratic leaders in the House and Senate urged the Bush administration to extend financial aid intended for Wall Street to struggling domestic carmakers, a move that could have the support of President-elect Obama. The Times reports that on Saturday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi […]

Of Froggy Dreams and Feral Houses

|
File today’s Streetsblog Network post under "where fantasy meets reality." First, via The Dirt, the blog of the American Society of Landscape Architects, we have a post about the winners of the Reburbia contest, "a design competition dedicated to re-envisioning the suburbs." Sponsored by Dwell magazine and Inhabitat, the contest garnered some pretty interesting entries, […]
STREETSBLOG USA

Parking Madness Elite Eight: Dallas vs. Muncie

|
We’re down to six remaining contenders in this year’s Parking Madness tournament after the grey expanse of Niagara Falls, New York, blew out the competition from Rutland, Vermont, claiming the second slot in the Final Four. Today’s pairing: a Texas-sized disaster and a Midwestern moonscape. Only one will advance. Dallas Dallas’s Fair Park is a 275-acre complex near downtown that is home to the state […]