Thursday, May 7, 2009

Thoughts on Bing

So Bing is the new mayor. Now that Cockrel's trial-run is up, Bing gets his own six-month shot at the job. I greet this news with cautious optimism. Bing is confident and competent, and he seems to get that revitalizing Detroit requires both a big vision and a business-like focus on all the basics. Almost better yet, Cockrel is back at the helm of City Council, meaning Monica Conyers loses her soapbox and both sides of government are run by competent, serious people.

Yet I have my doubts. He's a member of the business elite and plans to govern like it. With any luck, that will translate into streamlined government and new investment. But it might also mean yet more emphasis on big downtown projects -- like stadiums and casinos -- at the expense of neighborhood revitalization. I'm also unconvinced he gets what urban life is all about. He lived his adult life in the suburbs (gated ones at that!), has little to say on preservation, and has called for suburban-style "cities within the city".

Does he get what Detroit is all about? Is he in touch with community groups and the concerns of ordinary residents? I sure hope so.

1 comment:

Marc Couillais said...

Yeah, that whole city within a city thing, that was a little scary. I wonder who his advisers are and what kind of input he will be receiving... We'll have to investigate that committee he's setting up to revitalize Detroit...