Here are my ten planning lessons from Detroit. It’s a great city that I have seen change dramatically, both for the positive and the negative, over the past 22 years as a resident of Michigan.
- Beneath this downtrodden city was a sleeping giant just waiting to be stirred.
- “Detroit” as a brand has definitely regained much of its showroom shine.
- Economic decline can result in a treasure-trove of architectural gems being saved from the wrecking ball (thankfully) just by simple neglect.
- Being located on an international border adds great vibrancy, diversity, and vitality to an urban region.
- A metropolitan area cannot survive or compete successfully when it is divided and pitted against itself.
- Existing human capital and infrastructure are two terrible things to waste – put those brains and bones to good use!
- Manufacturing hubs are remarkably resilient when given half a chance.
- The private and non-profit sectors deserve many kudos for Detroit’s recent rebound.
- For a turnaround to be complete, it is imperative for it to be inclusive and comprehensive, not only beneficial to a few or just the wealthy.
- Given current trends and taking the proper next steps, the City of Detroit could be quite remarkable in 10, 20, and 50 years.