Detroit may be making a comeback and that is a great thing. What would I do to revitalize Detroit? I would start with a plan. More and more younger people are moving into Detroit, especially the downtown area. But development in Detroit is happening like reforesting after a devastating forest fire. In the midst of a lot of desolation there are isolated pockets of growth and revitalization. The Midtown and Entertainment districts are virtually booming, and the Hart Plaza area is also developing. In between these areas are blocks of deserted and crumbling buildings. A plan to connect these areas should be developed, such as the proposed fast rail down Woodward Ave. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a shopping district with real grocery stores and hardware stores. Maybe even a gas station or two.
Even more important to the ultimate success of Detroit would be the planning and development of neighborhoods in these districts. Real neighborhoods with schools, playgrounds, etc. Detroit cannot be revitalized with young people coming downtown to apartments. Sooner or later, they will want a family and a home. In cities such as New York and Pittsburg people are hired to develop an actual plan – a “big picture” plan to sustain growth.
Finally, a great city has to:
1) Pick up all the garbage and litter;
2) Provided street lighting to the entire city;
3) Maintain all the parks and city pools;
4) Provide a visible and deterrent police presence on the streets;
5) Shovel the snow.
If we did just that, Detroit would be a really great city again.