Let's see, 1-2 acres ... easy access to a bus line ... downtown. Hmm, hmmmm. HMMMM. It's tough, you know, for any modern city to locate temporarily displaced people like this because urban areas are often already so congested — which is why, of course, the previous Tent City was so far off the beaten path. The call is already out to gather the necessary materials to rebuild a tent city, but the crux here is finding a place to put it.
Let's think, shall we? Think, think, think — wait! How about the massive 11-acre swath of primo property right-fucking-next-door that Metro can't pull its shit together long enough to figure out what form of upper-middle-class luxury item they want to build on it?
I mean honestly, people, the old thermal plant site been sitting there empty for five years. Isn't there some sort of statute of limitations or something where we can just, you know, claim it? Property rights work that way, right?
Okay, maybe not.
I know, I know. Ignoring for the moment the political reasons this will never, ever happen in a million years — can we talk about why this isn't an option, logistically? I realize it's a sodden mess right now, but that's all bedrock up there. Pump it out, let it dry, and it's go-time. Rebuild it there.
I am curious to see the reasons put forth as to why this isn't an option. Let's be honest: Metro wants Tent City to go away. Various factions of residents and property owners downtown want Tent City to go away. They're probably really hoping this flood is going to accomplish what they've been trying to do for years (much like how some hoped Katrina would "fix" New Orleans). But this flood wiped out housing, not people. Nashville can hope and pray all they want that its homeless problem is just going to disappear. They can hire all the yellow-shirted segway hall-monitors they want to shoo panhandlers from place to place — but they're not magically vanishing.
Is this the best use of what is probably the most valuable and pivotally located plot of land in downtown Nashville? No, of course not. Is the idea of Nashville's homeless/transitional population being on display in one of the most visible locations in Nashville going to be palatable to most people? No. Will it perhaps finally force the hand of this city to deal with the issue in a responsible and proactive manner, instead of just ignoring it? Maybe. Other cities seem perfectly capable of realizing the benefits and rolling with it — isn't it time we stepped up?
My obnoxious Swiftian proposal aside, I want to make sure this issue does remain visible. It won't be by far the greatest challenge we're going to face as a result of this flooding. But it's one of them — and we owe it to Nashville's perpetually shit-upon not to forget them this time around.