Though larger, Detroit’s problems are analogous to many other cities throughout the United States. The Detroit region has been promised so many revivals, renaissances, and renewals; the city is as littered with failed urban revitalization projects as it is empty houses. Yet Detroiters are quietly working to solve problems on their own. People are rebuilding their neighborhoods without large sums of money, much organizational support, or assistance from city government. Call it the crowd-sourced city, and it is a slow process, but a beautiful one. Empty industrial buildings have become artists’ spaces and markets, vacant lots, farms and gardens, abandoned apartments, condos, and empty buildings filled with new offices. Neighborhood organizations are quietly utilizing online tools to better connect members. The old barriers of race and class remain but a tentative regional discussion has begun. What is the future of the region? Can the pattern of growth in the region continue as it has during the past 60 years?
by ECPA Urban Planning