12/20/2019

Is Your City Infrastructurally Obese?

"Michigan City hit its peak population of 39,369 in 1970. Since then it has dropped by 21%. Yet in terms of land area, Michigan City is roughly the same size today as it was when the decline began and annexation of land began to taper. 

Thus, Michigan City’s infrastructure is at least 21% larger than necessary.

Why is Michigan City predicting that it will gain back all of its population losses from the last 50 years? According to one city council member I talked with, city officials believe Michigan City will grow again once the South Shore Line Double Track project is completed. This $416 million project is expected to cut travel time to Chicago in half (from two hours to one). Even if this prediction is correct, it doesn’t explain why Michigan City needs a 37% increase in land to support roughly the same population it had 50 years ago."