I've added a few Detroit Pages from a recent visit:
Much has been written about the sad state of Detroit today. I think that much of what's being written misses several key factors in Detroit's decline. It's a common misconception that Detroit is suffering because the US auto industry is suffering. Detroit, for the most part is a creation of the US auto industry and the auto industry turned it's back on Detroit a long time ago. The US auto industry has had many good years since it started abandoning the city in the 1950s and 1960s. Meanwhile Detroit's population and fortunes have been declining consistently since around 1950. It was the car and the US auto industry as much as anything that killed Detroit. Flight to the suburbs in new cars on new freeways, the movement of auto manufacturing to southern states and overseas... these things have contributed to Detroit's decline as much or more than foreign competition and mismanagement, etc. The US auto industry has profited from these trends and has been in many ways responsible for these trends.
The city of Detroit was designed around the US auto industries' products (cars). But the cars Detroit was designed for were the cars of the 1920s-1940s. They were slow and unreliable and at the time, families could rarely afford more than one. Improvements in auto and truck technology have since made Detroit functionally obsolete. The thriving new exurbs around Detroit are designed for the cars of today. This partially explains why the city of Detroit has been abandoned by most everyone with the means to leave. The last thing often left out of discussions about Detroit's decline is the fact that Detroit was victimized by the worst excesses of urban renewal projects from the 1940s through the 70s. New freeways sliced the city to pieces. Modernist housing projects were built all over the city. These and many other planing and design missteps were tearing apart the fabric of Detroit's neighborhoods long before the auto industry fell on hard times.
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