Monday, August 24, 2009

The D's Next Decade

Crain's Detroit published a great set of articles this morning on the revitalization of Detroit. "The D's Next Decade" looks at ten major factors in the city's redevelopment, including urban farming, greenways, mass transit, historic preservation, and right-sizing. Most of it has been discussed before, but it's always encouraging to see the full sweep of efforts underway in the city. And there are some great new initiatives in Midtown, including coordinated efforts to lower crime and get 15,000 young professionals to move in.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Some essential reading

I've been preoccupied with other projects in the past few weeks, so I haven't been updating nearly as often as I'd like. I likely won't get back to blogging full-time until the start of September, but in the meantime, here's some informative and/or provocative reading:

  • Conservative writer David Frum published an editorial recently analyzing Detroit's decline. He makes a few good points (especially about the city's tragic disregard for historic preservation) and a few points that are so far off as to be offensive (i.e., "The second factor in Detroit’s decline is the city’s defiant rejection of education and the arts." What city is he talking about? Yes, DPS is in shambles now, but it was once a model district, and we've always championed the arts.)
  • The Detroit News counted 48 vacant buildings in a useful, well-researched inventory of downtown  Detroit. I just wish they hadn't maligned many of our best skyscrapers as "blight" and "eyesores." They may be empty, but they're still beautiful.
  • Vice Magazine notes (hypocritically, and with insufferable smugness) the media fatigue many are feeling around town as one journalist after another comes to town to do a snapshot portrayel of the city's struggles. But one media outfit seems prepared to go in-depth: Time Inc. will embed a group of journalists in Detroit for a year.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Can farming save Detroit?