After living in Detroit for about five weeks now, there are claims in the article that I can definitely agree with. Working in the center of Downtown has shown the disparity between this vibrant location and the abandoned neighborhoods not too far from Campus Martius. In Downtown, one can see thousands of men and women in their suits and heels on the weekdays, tourists visiting the most popular restaurants, and the migration of the middle and upper class to Campus Martius on the weekends to enjoy their days off. But once you venture into the outskirts of Downtown, you’re hit with the reality of a fallen Detroit: collapsing homes, graffitied walls, rundown shops.
Seeing both the wealth of Downtown and the poverty of nearby neighborhoods has given me perspective on the disparity between the two. How could the difference be so large? Would the same thing happen to Corktown with the influx of businesses and investment from the wealthy? Like the article at hand, it made me question whether further reconstruction of these locations would merely further the disparity between the impoverished and the wealthy, and ultimately displace those who have made Detroit their home. Therefore, I can see the author’s point that this reinvestment may not be as great as we think. But I would like to be more optimistic.
Living in Detroit for five weeks has also given me an appreciation and gratefulness for these reconstruction efforts. Contrary to the article, touring the facilities of Quicken Loans and Ford has shown me that these large scale private corporations are not here to merely reap profits off the poor for their own personal gain. Rather, they care about the community they reside in, and like nearly every Detroiter, are proud of the city they live in. The allocation of assets from these organizations is the stepping stone to transforming the city’s perception from abandonment to one of vibrancy and success. The cooperation of private corporations and municipal Detroit is the only way the city can acquire the resources necessary to revive itself. Though it may be a potentially daunting and even detrimental process, I hope and believe these corporations and municipal Detroit have the poise and determination to revitalize Detroit without harming the very people who have made it so special.
Link to article: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/problem-with-rebuilding-detroit-michigan-ford-gentrification-cities_us_5ae31cffe4b02baed1b991c9