Detroit's downtown is gentrifying— or, to be more accurate, a very small portion of the 139 square miles that make up the city is doing so, as it becomes populated by a new generation of workers. But the city's vast, remaining area is mostly blighted. A massive effort has been made to remove substandard and neglected homes, creating large sections ripe for redevelopment. read more »
What’s often forgotten in politics and governance is municipalities are the creation of state legislatures. A good deal of the population growth in major cities in the second half of the nineteenth century was due to annexation. One of the best examples is New York‘s amazing growth due to annexing Brooklyn. Few people are talking about it but it’s time to consider smaller political units. read more »
Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman tells us that “sprawl killed Detroit” in his The New York Times column.
The evidence is characterized as “job sprawl” – that a smaller share of metropolitan area jobs are located within 10 miles of downtown Detroit than in the same radius from downtown Pittsburgh (see Note on Decentralization and “Job Sprawl”). It is suggested that this kept the city of Pittsburgh out of bankruptcy. read more »
One of the big myths of the twentieth century is that large American cities are necessary and inevitable. Yet in reality growth has been dispersing to suburbs and smaller cities for the last two decades. As the decline of Detroit, once the country’s fourth largest city, reveals in all too harsh terms, being bigger is not always better. read more »
The historical core municipality of the Detroit metropolitan area, the city of Detroit, continued its steep population decline between 2000 and 2010. The new census count indicates that the city dropped to 733,000 residents, from 951,000 in 2000. This drop of 25 percent was the largest in any census period since 1950, when the city peaked at a population of 1,850,000. Even so, the percentage decline from 1950 of 61.4 percent remains less than that of city of St. read more »