Is that what the Observer-Dispatch was hoping for when it wrote its sidebar "Smaller, Greener, Healthier?" to Sunday's article Cornell project’s goal: Help revive Utica ? That would be consistent with its elation at the impending destruction of Bagg's Square back on 10/16/1968.
The idea of "downsizing" Utica by demolishing neighborhoods is idiotic. While it may sound logical to to bulldoze neighborhoods and move the people to other neighborhoods to create an affordable increased population density, this isn't Soviet Russia or Beijing (not yet anyway). It will not work.
We've already tried this sort of experimentation in the 1960s to improve things but it only made Utica's economic climate worse. It was called Urban Renewal or Arterial Highways. Both types of projects involved massive bulldozing of entire sections of the city (which took generations to develop). While local media and cognoscenti promoted these projects history proved that they hadn't a clue. Once displaced, if people did not leave the area entirely they set up shop in New Hartford. That necessitated creation of more infrastructure in New Hartford (increasing taxes there), and decreasing tax base and wasting the infrastructure in Utica (increasing taxes there). . . . The "downsizing" idea will produce more of the same: a Lose-Lose proposition.
Hopefully the Cornell project comes up with some viable solutions to Utica's woes . . . but Bulldozing sections of town is not one of them ...
If we don't learn from our own history we will keep repeating our mistakes.