We Could Be Detroit…

A city once the industrial muscle of the U.S. has atrophied and wasted away to bankruptcy.

Here, in our own slice of post-industrial America, we say, often in a joking manner, “at least we’re not Detroit.”

How did the city fall into this bad a state?

Easiest to point to is departure of industry.  Other problems fester under the surface.  Racial division.  Vacant land and boarded up houses as more and more developments sprout in the outlying areas.  The politicians.

Sound familiar?

Detroit is now the model for worst possible outcome.  All Rust Belt cities must look at what happened there and the problems Detroit faced and will continue to face, as well as their solutions that didn’t work.

George Galster, professor at Wayne State University and author of Driving Detroit: The Quest for Respect in the Motor City, visited The City Club of Cleveland this past February to discuss the state of Detroit.  He talked about some of the above problems and how Detroit has failed to fix them.  The idea of his appearance, as I took it, was to bring up topics that we need to be aware of as well.

“At least we’re not Detroit.”

Unless we learn from their lessons, we could be.

I haven’t listened yet, but today’s The Sound of Ideas also explored the topic.


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