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About The Silver City…

At present, there are three things I think most folks will find problematic with referring to Flint as ‘The Silver City’:

  1. I’ll be the first person to tell you that right now, ones impression of the City of Flint won’t likely be very bright or shiny, though the possibility does exist.
  2. It’s pretentious; a mix of a little too much academia and a little too much corporate re-branding with only bare tendrils of relevancy to most folks.
  3. It’s genesis thus far is based solely on my own perspective and experience, and all the flaws that entails.

But this isn’t just about Flint’s present.  It’s about Flint’s future.  It’s the way I see Flint ever single day.  I’d like to share what I can see, in the hope that it inspires others to start seeing this city differently and gives others the chance to share and contribute to that vision.  In that light of Flint’s vast potential for change, The Silver City becomes more resolved.  It is a way of envisioning and identifying the city as we want to see it.  The way it can be.

Components of The Silver City

The Silver City is a fast city.

Fast Company Magazine describes such cities as “places that draw people who are talented, tech savvy, and tolerant.”  It’s a vibrant, creative, and dynamic environment.  It’s full of life and diversity; of races, cultures and businesses; of energy, density and motion; challenges, opportunities and inspiration.  It’s where people and businesses come to realize their potential and the potential of the city.

The Silver City is a green city.

It’s balanced immediate social, economic and environmental factors with a long-term, visionary, urban future.  It doesn’t seek to simply maintain a position or state of solvency; but continuously improves, regenerates and repairs the health of the city.  It utilizes green building and infrastructure standards, smart growth principles and development standards (like the Living Building certification, Sustainable Sites Initiative and LEED-ND) not to restrict or mandate decisions, but to encourage new ways of thinking, designing and doing.  It establishes a new standard for the design and development of ecological urbanism.

The Silver City is a historic city.

It recognizes not only the unique history, events and character of place that gave rise to Flint, but draws from the common lessons and experiences learned over the thousands of years that society has developed urbanized populations.  It utilizes and reveals the framework and foundations of its Rust Belt heritage to forge a new path not just for Flint, but for cities like it.  Its historic neighborhoods, places and buildings are not simply preserved, but revitalized.  New programs, uses and forms are layered onto those of the past, adding to the sense of place, enriching the character and diversity of the city, and providing the landscapes for future history.


Did I miss something?  Was I unclear?  Feel free to add your own thoughts and ideas in the comments section below.  You’re also welcome to email me at thesilvercity[dot]flint[at]gmail[dot]com.

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