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Please turn off the lights

— Global


Do cities have a sell-by date? And if they no longer feel fresh and vital, should we abandon them? That’s what’s happening in Russia. So should the burghers of New Orleans and Detroit do the same?

Industry, Infrastructure, Management, Migration, Society

Should cities that have lost their purpose be abandoned? Should a metropolis that stands in the way of hurricanes or earthquakes be handed over to nature? It’s a question few are brave enough even to ask – no mayor wants to be the official who turns the lights out on their community.

But Timothy Kusky, professor of ­natural sciences at St Louis University, believes that’s what should – and will – happen in New Orleans. “We should not be rebuilding New Orleans,” says Kusky. “Let the areas that were destroyed by Katrina – and will be next time –…


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