Friday, April 23, 2010

How Detroit is reinventing itself

Rick Tetzeli of Time Inc. runs the company's multi-platform, multi-publication effort to cover the transformation of Detroit. They have bought a house in Detroit and reporters are covering the city's transformation for Time mag, Fortune, even Sports Illustrated, as well as blogging, et al. He just talked to "The Reinvented City" conference I'm attending in Cambridge, Mass.

Here's his quick rundown of how Detroit is having to and is reinventing itself:
-The city is shrinking. The population is down from 2 million to 800,000. Within the confines of the city of Detroit you could put the footprint of Manhattan, Boston AND San Francisco.
-The school system is such a disaster that they're considering "all different kinds of things." Example: public boarding schools.
-They're considering light rail between the city and the suburbs, to help connect both geographically and socially.
-Urban farming is, er, taking root.
- "A huge psychic change – nobody expects the car industry to save them anymore."


Notorious L.E.V. said...

Learn how to blog...

Charlotte had better take care to prevent becoming the next Detroit.

Brendan said...

Yeah, Charlotte and Detroit have one things in common, lack of diversity in employers. They were dependent on Auto Manufacturing, we're dependent on Banking. One of the reasons Charlotte has worse unemployment than the national average.

Entree said...

Hey Mary just what is the percentage of banking jobs vs. non banking jobs in Charlotte anyway?

BKG said...

Good question Entree, I think I know where your going with that? And if so good point and good for you for bringing it up.

Karl said...

In other words, Detroit is dying and they're trying to find some way to prevent it -- no doubt at the cost of billions of taxpayer dollars that would be better spent elsewhere (or not spent at all).

The light rail thing is the worst boondoggle of them all -- especially in the city formerly known as "Motor City".

Christine said...

Karl, there was actually an interesting "Postcard" on Detroit in Time a few weeks ago that talks about all of the philanthropic money that is helping to reinvent the city of Detroit. I'm sure this doesn't eliminate tax payer funds that you speak of but it is an interesting approach.,8599,1972926,00.html

ATM said...

How many Manhattans or Bostons could you fit in the confines of Charlotte?

Charlottes land area is twice as large as Detroit. So I'd say a lot more than Detroit.

joe said...

Too many have a classic case of not seeing the forest for the trees. For the last decade, Carolinas H/C & Duke Energy have been 2 of our largest employers. They both have & continue to bring in new biz opertunities & have attracted numerous vendors that also add employment. Charlotte has never been a 1 horse town.

Larry said...

They need to go out and get a lot of green jobs created for everyone in Detroit.

I am not sure how they can do this, but to hear the Politicians talk, Green Jobs pay well and should be all over the place in the next year or so.

Hey Charlotte should get a bunch of these Green Jobs started here over the next few months. Again I am not sure how but I bet if you check with the Politicians they will make it easy.

PS: Is the Observer paying you and the cost to attend this mess?

Theo Tiefwald said...

Are you serious? Detroit is finally "reinventing itself" is it? That's great news!

Aw, wait a minute, the joke's on us. Stop pulling our leg, Mary. April Fool's Day has already come and gone.

Welcome to Demographics 101. First Lesson: 3rd world demographics make for 3rd world cities.