Sunday, January 6, 2008

"$150-million complex planned for downtown"

Fresh from the Free Press.

At first glance it's ugly but innovative. Most importantly it's a huge development for Downtown. But I do wonder about the long-term future of Detroit. I fear a two-tier city: at the center, a wealthy, bustling downtown radiating out from Woodward from Jefferson up to the New Center; and surrounding the urban core, a sea of poverty.

3 comments:

Marisa said...

That is weird-looking. And exciting.

3:12 am?

Cooper said...

I went to bed at midnight. I gave up at 3. And went back to bed at 4. And in the meantime there was breaking news!

Scott said...

Yes. Poor people always get the short end of the stick and what you suggest is almost certainly what's going to happen.

Making a few dozen square blocks of downtown "safe" and "hip" isn't going to solve the fundamental f'ed-uppedness of the Detroit metorpolitan region nor solve the cities core issues, but it isn't really going to hurt many people. The area is so far gone, at least you're not facing displacement issues -- the gentrification is largely filling a void.

If the trend keeps up the worst thing that'll happen is the ring of gentrification will grow, Detroit will become safer and whiter and inner ring suburbs will continue to decay and the poor will be pushed out to the edges, and Detroit will look more like european and "healthier" US cities with thriving cores that serve as playgrounds for the affluent.

Not a pretty picture but I can think of many worse, equally likely scenarios and have little hope for more optimistic 10-30 year outcomes. But I guess that's why I moved to Brooklyn, NY instead of Detroit...