Isn't that a great skyline, those gold-speckled black towers right on the edge of a beautiful blue river. It's stunning, it's beautiful, it's Detroit and it's an illusion. Detroit is never going to be a thriving urban center again.
Yes, it's time for my commentary on the city of my birth. There is one word I have to say about Detroit -- downsize. Stop this insane belief that the city will ever regain the prominence and population it once had. Ain't gonna happen. I don't care how many fine young millennials say they are 'up on the city,' 'high on the potential,' or simply 'pro-Detroit.'
The industrial based is destroyed. The skilled workforce is gone. There is a worldwide recession and if you subscribe to the rhetoric from my last Detroit post, the American Empire is decaying from within. There are far too many other pressing needs to spend billions on saving the rusted hulk that was Detroit. Too many other urban areas need help and they can be salvaged, cut your losses when it comes to the Motor City.
Go small -- downsize. Go Green and local. Try the whole urban farm thing, why not? Make those massive boulevards and highways bicycle friendly. Urban park, urban forest but no more towers. The industrial north is over, hell big industry in the US might well be over and if we are going to be an information age workforce, would you really pick Detroit as the placed you wanted to be plugged in? I've been there, I know what it's like -- move on.
Urban renaissance is not going to happen. Urban conversion or retroversion sure; whatever that looks like. There are a lot of creative people with multitudes of ideas for what Detroit could be, but the one to reject and forever bury is a Detroit like it was in the good old days. Those days are long gone and for quite some time the days and nights haven't been anywhere near good. Don't listen to those people who talk about the decline of the last decade or how twenty years of neglect did this or that to the city.
Detroit hasn't been thriving for over fifty years. Half a century of clear and constant indicators have made it obvious that this city was not going to survive, yet the politicians, the corporations, even the citizens kept the feeding tube connected despite all the obvious signs and cultural near death signposts. Time to pull the plug and turn our attention to what can be saved, call it urban triage.