A Changing Detroit

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					A Changing Detroit
How the automobile helped kill the Motor City as we know it

A paper submitted to

Professor Lapo Salucci

University of Colorado

In Partial Fulfillment

For the Course

PSCI 3071: Urban Politics


Chris Yonushewski

April 9, 2010
Executive Summary
          Detroit is currently at an impasse. It is in desperate need to people to return to the city in order
for it to be successful, but only quality and innovative places will bring people back to Detroit. As of
right now a minor US city of roughly 900,000 citizens, one third of which do not own a vehicle, are
spread across more than 139 square miles. This population of citizens is crippled by the lack of
integrated public transportation in Detroit. Neighborhoods are cut off from one another simply because
the buses can’t afford to run between them. Downtown Detroit, the hub of Michigan’s economy, has
evolved into a metropolitan ghost town in recent years due to the success of suburban sprawl through
highway usage and the loss of population. If this trend continues, one where barely used highways still
receive more attention that vital bus routes in and out of the city, then Detroit will continue to be the
epitome of Rustbelt cities in America, slowly inching towards obsolescence.

         However this is hope for the aging Motor City. By developing an integrated and quality public
transportation system many believe that Detroit can begin to redefine itself. Implementing better public
transit across the Detroit Metro area, coupled with creating quality spaces downtown and in the
neighborhoods, will cut city costs, bring the return of the middle class to Detroit, and help restart the
cities ailing economic engine. The first steps towards achieving Detroit’s goal of being a modern city in
the 21st century are centered on redeveloping the original main corridor roads that lead in and out of the
city. By revitalizing these roads Detroiters can start to step back from a failing highway system, and into
a more concentrated community of a city center and neighborhoods. Implementing a system that uses
light rail, a metro, or rapid transit electric buses along these corridors will increase the importance these
forgotten corridors are to Detroit, but will also help change the Motor City’s image to that of a green
one. This being said Detroit cannot depend on a public transit system to solve all of its problems, and it
should be used as a springboard to tackle other issues such as, consolidation of regional neighborhoods,
investiture of new industries in the city, retaining a quality population and maintain population density,
and defining quality spaces of habitation, but downtown and in the suburbs. Beginning with public
transit, Detroit can step away from being a Rustbelt sad story to being the success story of the new


        Detroit needs to:

       Create hi-speed, integrated public transit along the major roads of: Woodward, Jefferson, Grand
        River, Gratroit, Fort, and Michigan Avenues.
       Consolidate neighborhoods through the relocation citizens and removal of blighted property,
        specifically to the North.
       Promote itself to gain new industries, ideally the green manufacturing and urban agriculture
       Redefine the city as too attract a middle and creative class to stimulate business and economic
        activity in Detroit.

Detroit Today
         The American Motor City is much like many
Rustbelt cities across America. Having built up a vibrant
downtown with office buildings, department stores,
shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues for all,
many looked at Detroit as America’s future during the
1920’s thru the 1950’s. Due to the boom of the
automobile industry during the early 1920’s, Detroit
                                                                  Source: Detroit Homes Guide
became a Silicon Valley for engineers and labor workers
across North America. But as time passed things change, and due to the emergence of suburban sprawl,
white flight out of cities, the divestiture of urban retail, and the explosive growth of the automobile lead
to a gradual emptying of people from Detroit. A prime example of such flight would be that of J.L.
Hudson’s Department Store, a downtown store of twelve stories that was commonly likened to Macy’s
in New York City. But in 1964 the store closed down and moved out to a mall complex in the suburbs,
complete with parking for more than 10,000 cars (PBS.org). Years have passed and just recently the
                                             shuttered Hudson’s Department Store building located
                                             downtown was torn down. Shifting from an all time high
                                             population of 1.8 million to that of 933,043 has made Detroit a
                                             modern ghost town of sorts (PBS.org). Downtown skyscrapers
                                             are empty and waiting to be leased out while street level retail
                                             is nonexistent. Public transit is in a stall, reducing service and
                                             cutting lines as recent as 2008 (smartbus.org). Neighborhoods,
                                             once filled with row houses and single family dwellings, are
                                             now desolated, with certain sections looking more like prairie
                                             than an urban suburb. Due to the massive loss of population,
Detroit has been put under serious strain to provide quality public services like education, transportation,
utilities, and infrastructure maintenance. This distress is partially due to an unequal and inefficient
distribution of residency across the Detroit Metro area. Currently there are pockets of neighborhoods,
stringed along former major roads that weren’t disrupted by the highway system. Furthermore, after
years of demographic and class shifting has made Detroit a heavily racially segregated city.

       In order to create a fully functioning city center with neighborhoods there has to be a functional
and connected transit system. The creation of this transit system is highly dependent on: creating places
of importance with defined space in the city, creating denser clusters of residential neighborhoods,
attaching uses to forgotten space in the city, breaking away from the importance of highways as the
main form of citizen travel, and integrating current transit highlights into a new structure.

Current Transit Infrastructure

      The current transit system in Detroit is dominated by the car, and moreover the highway system.
Having been the first city to champion the Interstate highway, Detroit has done away with much of their

  city road structure in place of a sprawling highways going out to the suburbs. With the opening of those
  highways, Detroit’s critical mass of population shifted away from the city. Overtime jobs shifted away
  from the city and suburbs and so too did the people of Detroit. Today, the same roads that were used
  before handle far less traffic, both in the city and outside of
  it. Combine this with 33% of the Detroit city population not
                                                                     “We are generations behind getting
  owning cars, this leaves roads empty and mass transit left to
                                                                      people out of their cars and into a
  pick up the slack (PBS.org). However, this gap of transit
  cannot be covered as the system remains today. Currently            different infrastructure” – Robin
  more than 80% of transit funds are allocated towards the           Boyle, Professor of Urban Policy at
  maintenance and upkeep of roads. This inadequate                          Wayne State University
                                                                    Source: www.PBS.org
  distribution of funds is holding back the possibility of public
  transits’ ability in for Detroit and its neighborhoods.

           Today there are four separate forms of public transit made available in Detroit, and none of them
  are connected. The first, and most prevalent, is the regional bus system, also known as SMART. This
  system, which also includes the bus systems in Dearborn, Troy, Ann Arbor, and Pontiac, has a bare
                                                                                     bones operation for
                                                                                     Detroit’s downtown.
                                                                                     Despite extensive
                                                                                     operations along the
                                                                                     corridor routes out of
                                                                                     the city, Detroit has
                                                                                     less than 20 different
                                                                                     routes in the core city.
                                                                                     This may seem well
                                                                                     enough, but
                                                                                     considering that almost
                                                                                     all of these 20 routes
                                                                                     only operate on 5
                                                                                     different roads and it is
                                                                                     clear that much of the
                                                                                     city is left without
                                                                                     adequate transit. These
Source: www.smartbus.org                                                             routes lack the ability
  to cover such a large metro area, which forced the emergence of private community buses. For example
  the North End neighborhood in Detroit only has one bus line coming into town, and this bus leaves once
  at 7am, and returns at 3pm (PBS.org). Aside from that
  people are stuck in the community, one which lacks                    “We basically don’t even have
  groceries, farmers markets, hospitals, and other necessary         transportation here [North End]” –
  components of a functioning neighborhood. To deal with              Dan Williams Jr, Detroit Resident
  this problem the Vanguard Community Center has instituted Source: www.PBS.org

the North End Transit (NET), a privately funded bus to help citizens move around their community

        Secondly, the People Mover, is the most iconic of the public transit options in Detroit but sadly
the most ineffective. Designed to be part of a larger transit network, the People Mover project never
reached full potential and has become a small loop, operating around the core downtown (PBS.org). The
loop is only three miles around and has thirteen stops, all within the downtown core (Peoplemover.com).
Notice how both Ford Field and Comerica Park, major attractions in Detroit, are removed from any
public transit routes. Though this cog in Detroit’s urban transit was visionary, its impact is far less. As a
loop, the People Mover is stuck downtown and has no direct means of connecting with other transit
lines. Furthermore, covering only one sector of Detroit’s downtown core is inefficient to use the People
Mover as a means to move around the city center. Today the People Mover is mainly used by the small
                            population living nearby and regional tourists.

                                    Finally, the third, and most aspiring, is the M-1 light rail transit over a
                            2.7 mile stretch of Woodward Ave. Though this isn’t up and running yet, the
                            M-1 is scheduled to begin construction later this year and is a new glimmer
                            of hope towards creating an integrated transit system. This 2.7 mile stretch
                            goes through a vital part of Detroit’s downtown, from Hart Plaza to Grand
                            Avenue along Woodward Avenue, essentially taking the first step on the
                            most important road in Detroit. By design, applying this light rail will allow
                            bus routes to flow to other parts of the city, specifically streets connected to
                            Woodward Ave. Ideally, Matt Cullen, proponent of the M-1, would like to
                            see light rail become the norm for Woodward, extend from the core of
                            downtown up through the suburb of Pontiac (PBS.org). Beyond Detroit there
                            is a separate initiative to create a commuter rail line that connects Dearborn
                            Metro Airport to downtown Detroit using existing Amtrak lines
                            (Detroittransit.org). Although it will not be used for daily service, this line
                            will be open for event service as soon as October of 2010.

City Comparison Perspective – Public Transportation

        Denver, which has a much smaller downtown area of
coverage, operates more than 32 transit lines within their
downtown limits. Of those 32 transit lines 5 are light rail with
more than 30 stations. Denver, despite having a smaller
downtown area does boast a metro area population of more than
2.5 million (DenverMetro.org). Conversely, Detroit has a metro
area close to 139 square miles and has a population close to
900,000. Due to lack of density, Detroit may struggle with
implementing such a sweeping public transit system, but by no
means does make public transit impossible for Detroit.

                                                                      Source: Rutgers University
Furthermore, I would argue that by implementing an integrated and efficient public transit system
Detroit can rebuild their downtown and bring people back into the city. By taking this step Detroit has
one foot in door towards using an efficient public transit system as a jumping point towards recreating

What We Can Do Now - Public Transportation

        The key for redeveloping Detroit’s public transportation is to design the infrastructure for the
benefit of the people and not their cars. For far too long Detroit’s city design has put the car ahead of
people, in turn destroying city blocks and senses of place, most notably the old Michigan Theater.
                                                                             Shifting the city’s design to
                                                                             benefit people means
                                                                             developing public transit that
                                                                             has an integrated approach,
                                                                             essentially a way of using
                                                                             different routes and lines, to get
                                                                             a person from door to door
                                                                             without the use of a car or
                                                                             much walking. This means a
                                                                             surge in the importance of
                                                                             connecting commuter lines to
                                                                             other Michigan cities and the
                                                                             Canadian city of Windsor
                                                                             across the Lake Erie. The usage
                                                                             of hi-speed rail, either as
                                                                             commuter lines or national
                                                                             lines, has great advantages over
commuter air travel. Simply put, electric powered hi-speed trains can carry eight times the amount of
passengers for same fuel cost with 25% less emissions than planes (PBS.org). This cost savings can
seriously build upon itself, stimulating an era of travel reoriented back to the train. Already Detroit has
an idea of this as defined by the Dearborn Metro Airport line. But going further, integrating Detroit’s
transit means that the historical main roads
leading out of the city; Woodward Avenue,
Grand River Avenue, Michigan Avenue,
Gratiot Avenue, Fort Street, and Jefferson
Avenue, all need to incorporate some form of
rapid transit. “Detroit was always a city of
corridors, of long straight avenues going off
into space. Now these corridors, I think will
become again the basic connecting tissue of

                                                   Source: www.PBS.org

the city” (Robert Kishman, PBS.org).

         This rapid transit could be in the form of a subway, an electric bus system, or ideally that of light
rail. Considering that each of these main roads stretches well beyond downtown Detroit and extends into
the neighborhoods and suburbs it would be important to maintain a quick form of easily accessible
transit to cover such a large swatch of land. Drilling down further, the creation of neighborhood and
downtown local bus lines are important to move people around places of importance. It does Detroit no
good to create quality commuter rail lines if the suburb workers can’t get around town once they are
here. The expansion of the People Mover would also do this, but less efficiently. The People Mover’s
ideal place in the future public transit infrastructure would be serving the immediate movement of
tourists, workers on their lunch breaks, and
students around a specific sector of
downtown. If the light rail and commuter rail
are the arteries of the city then these local
lines act as the capillaries to fill the gaps. By
following this hierarchy of public transit,
Detroit can stitch itself together, and bring
back vitality to major roadways in and out of
the city, like it had in the early 20th century.                                   Source: www.PBS.org

“It is along these routes we have got the opportunity for the Detroit of tomorrow the clusters of density,
where the churches are, where some of the schools are located, the remnants of retail. If we can capture
what they got, build on them, and then start to connect them along these radial routes, then I think we’ve
got a future for tomorrow and Detroit.” (Robin Boyle, PBS.org).

What Can We Do Now – Define Space

          One of the greatest challenges for many Midwest cities and sprawling suburbs is to define
meaningful space for their citizens. The importance of this relates to the importance of the public realm
in cities. The public realm is the dwelling place of civic life and is the manifestation of a city’s common
good for their citizens (Kunstler, TED.com). Furthermore, it informs the citizens not only of where they
are in the city, but the culture and values of that city (Kunstler, TED.com). To quote James Kunstler, “If
you degrade the public realm then you automatically degrade the quality of your civic life.” (TED.com).
                               Undoing the damage that car oriented design this is critical for major cities
                               today. Employing quality civic design to create meaningful space through
                               use of landscape and architecture has been a fundamental part of urban
                               planning for hundreds of years. Especially for Detroit, whose population
                               has plunged and left the city barren in places, there needs to be a
                               redefinition of quality space. Already there have been some projects
Source: Downtown               towards that, most notably the RiverWalk. The RiverWalk is located near
Detroit Partnership
                     the heart of the city, just west of the GM headquarters on the Michigan River.
Looking at this space less than ten years ago and it was an industrial wasteland. Beginning in 2004, the
RiverWalk Redevelopment consisted of cleaning up industrial dumping in the Michigan River,

remodeling of the urban space along the
river, and the creation of several
walking plazas, parks, restaurants, and
other pivotal components of public
space (Sternberg). The result has thus
far been good and expansion phases are
set to finish by 2010. The RiverWalk has become one of the jewels of downtown Detroit, making the
city and more beautiful and cleaner place to be. Since phase one completion in 2007 there have been
several attractions to the RiverWalk, most notably River Days, a festival held right on the water
(DowntownPartnership.com). It is important for Detroit to continue to support the creation of quality
space as that is a major contributor towards why people live where they do, and Detroit desperately
needs people.

What Can We Do Now – Create Importance & Usage

         Similar to the problem of defining space, Detroit needs to find a usage for all of the empty space
it has. According to John Hantz, CEO of Hantz Group, close to 40% of the land in Detroit has gone
fowl, meaning that where there once were neighborhoods, stores, and streets there are now open fields,
prairie, and forgotten land (PBS.org). This land needs to be put to good use for two reasons. First, the
empty space is creating a sense of disunity throughout
Detroit. Once vibrant neighborhoods fifty years ago are                “Detroit could be the nation’s
now scattered across several blocks, essentially isolating         leading example of urban farming” –
houses and citizens. Furthermore, it costs Detroit far too           John Hantz, CEO of Hantz Group
much to maintain this scattered and diffused neighborhood         Source: Hantz Group
setup. If only one home is on a block it still needs access to
utilities and public services provided for by the city. These services used to be covered by a much more
populated and dense neighborhood, but it still costs the same with only one tenant. This creates a burden
for the city and county. Second, this land is currently an untapped resource for Detroit. With land
available so cheaply and on such a large scale in an urban area, it is the perfect setting for the infancy of
modern urban agriculture. Already innovative businesses like Hantz Farms are bringing green jobs and
capital to Detroit (Hantz Farms). “Hantz Farms will transform this area into a viable, beautiful and
sustainable area that will serve the community, increase the tax base, create jobs and greatly improve
the quality of life in an area that has experienced a severe decline in population.” (Hantz Group) Such a
use of land would greatly improve the city as it revitalizes a sense of purpose for many neighborhoods.
Also, Detroit can take on a new industry, shifting away from such heavy concentration in manufacturing
while diversifying and rebuilding their labor force. But what about all of the old factories and office
parks, what use are they? A common feeling in America is that manufacturing has gone the way of the
dodo, either due to increased sophistication of technology or outsourcing. However, new industries such
as green technology, healthcare services, and transportation production all require a local and skilled
labor force. There is no reason why old manufacturing plants can’t be retrofitted to assemble wind
turbines or solar panels. There is no reason why old automobile parks cannot become places of

assembly, research, development, and investiture for the new transportation of the future, whether that is
greener cars or new modes of public transportation. Adding just one of these growing sectors to
Detroit’s arsenal will help spur the service economy to come back into the city, and further help pull
Detroit out of this Rustbelt despair.

What Can We Do Now – Redefine Neighborhoods

         However, looking at Detroit’s residential layout as it currently is, reviving the city by only the
way of public transportation is economically impossible. The answer as to why is simple: there are too
                                             few people across too much space. According to housing
   “We’re looking at a city that’s over      expert Alan
   50% vacant within the next five to        Mallach, “Detroit
                                             needs no more
   ten years. It’s a huge, huge issue.” –
                                             than about 50
          Ashley Atkinson, Urban
                                             square miles of its
     Agriculture Project Developer
  Source: Detroit Free Press                 land for its
population. The remaining 89 square miles could be used
entirely for other purposes.” (Gallagher). Looking at the
cost and benefits of providing a sweeping transit system to
a scattered residency, it is clear that Detroit would only hurt
itself. That is why, for the betterment of the city, its
citizens, and Detroit’s future, there needs to be a
consolidation of residents. This does not mean that all              An example of the isolated and spread out
Detroiters need to flock to the city and start leasing an          neighborhoods that comprise Detroit. More
apartment, but it does mean that residents need to reclaim          than 14 separate communities are pictured
and redefine their neighborhoods. This needs to happen               here, but many are separated by miles of
                                                                      vacant lots and empty industrial blocks.
through two actions: removal of abandoned and forgotten
                                                                  Map Source: Metro Mode Media
structures and the consolidation of scattered neighbors. As
much of a problem that empty lots are, decrepit and condemned structures are even worse. Throughout
much of the Rustbelt many houses have been left to die a slow death, creating an undue problem for the
rest of the community. The structures lower the property
values of the neighborhood and create communities that do not
seem friendly. Steps have been taken to rid Detroit’s                    “We have to think of new uses for
neighborhoods of their forgotten homes, but only on the                    those properties left behind to
community and grassroots level. Motor City Blight Busters, a            eliminate the blight” – Doug Diggs,
neighborhood group led by Mr. John George, have taken it                      Director of City Planning
                                                                      Source: Detroit Free Press
upon themselves to remove or repair many aging homes in
their community (PBS.org). But efforts like these can only go
so far, there needs to be a transition of power to the city and county to help alleviate many blighted
blocks of Detroit. However, even if all the blights on the community have been removed there still exist

residents who have stayed loyal to their homes, but have created a problem for the city of Detroit. As
mentioned previously single homes and city blocks are terribly inefficient for the city to provide services
for, and in many cases it is hard for the resident to live so secluded. These residents are all that are left
from former neighborhoods, and unfortunately stand in the way of redefined urban neighborhoods. The
city needs to relocate these residents in a way that is beneficial not only to those moved, but to those in
the communities they are moved to. Possibly through actions of eminent domain, despite its bad
connotation, the city can consolidate residents and improve residential life in Detroit. “The city is now
depleted of people, so you got a lot of area that is empty, but if the bus is still moving from this to this,
then it’s moving through an area where nobody lives. So until the time we find a way to take this city
and nest it into a smaller thing, we’ve got huge problems.” (Dan Williams Jr, PBS.org.) Once denser
collections of residents exist then quality transportation can be put into place and people’s mobility and
standard of living will increase. Furthermore a sense of community will be renewed for Detroit, making
citizens care more for their city and surroundings. All in all, despite relocation being the ugliest of fixes
for the residents of Detroit it is a necessary part of the wide-scale plan to redevelop and better the city.

City Comparison Perspective – Reviving Neighborhoods

          Pittsburgh, which has gone through the struggles of a decreasing population and a decline in the
 manufacturing sector, has made great strides to redefine their neighborhoods. The Urban Redevelopment
 Authority (URA) in Pittsburgh
 has been working for more than
 60 years clearing decrepit homes
 and cleaning up riverfront lands
 from old industry. Even to this
 day the URA is working towards Source: www.URA.org
 creating vibrant city centers that have defined space and quality for their citizens. Currently a
 remodeling of Market Square, a public space in the city, is the latest project aimed towards the
Source: www.URA.org                            beautification of the city (URA.org). Looking at the
                                               Southside of Pittsburgh, long known as an industrial center,
                                               neighborhoods are stepping up and looking out for their own
                                               future benefits. One means of doing so was for several
                                               neighborhoods to ban together and form “Elm Street
                                               Communities” (Southsidepgh.com). Aside from providing
                                               quality services to their residents (check online at), the Elm
                                               Street Communities follow a modern five point approach
                                               towards solving neighborhood needs (Southsidepgh.com).

        Clean, Safe,                           Neighbors &            Image &          Sustainable
           Green                                Economy                Identity        Organization
      Source: www.southsidepgh.com

        These are all aspects of defining a quality community that Detroit can take and apply to itself.

Through this hard work Pittsburgh, despite being a classic Rustbelt city, has seemed to shed its old
image of Steel City and moved on to a dynamic city open to a new industry. There is no reason that the
Motor City cannot make similar adjustments to stay vibrant
in America today.
                                                                 “Transportation is key to equity
What Does This Create                                             for people…mobility is linked to
        Overall, implementing an efficient and integrated         freedom” – Lee Gaddies, Public
public transportation system is essential for the continued                Transit Advocate
prosperity of Detroit. By creating such a system Detroit will       Source: www.PBS.org
have an increase in population and population density, in
both urban high rise residential sectors and through the connected urban neighborhoods. Specifically the
people coming back will be the middle class, looking for a functional and dynamic city to settle a family
in. This creative class has disposable income and a passion for innovation and creativity. Also, looking
to live in a dynamic and changing city, young people will begin to see Detroit as a redefined city of the
Midwest and not a place of a bygone era. In turn, this will increase the city’s economic activity through
the growth of small businesses, large business investments, and a revival of the urban service economy.
Also, by moving people efficiently around the city and the creation of quality space in the city there will
be vibrant public realms, specifically downtown. Creating these spaces will continue to bring in quality
people, businesses, and ideas. Shifting focus from the car and highway system to one of integrated
                                                public transit will be economically beneficial in the long
                                                run and will end the wasted funds on highway repairs and
                                                maintenance, as well as the wasted space and money spent
   “First, Detroit needs to plant the seeds
                                                on parking. Also, creating a widely used mass public
     of a new economy. Second, the city         transit system will mean more citizen interaction on a
   can no longer afford itself. In place of     personal level, possibly helping to quell racial tension that
   the old must come a new leaner city.”        has plagued the city for too long. All in all, by way of
               – The Economist                  public transit Detroit can redefine its city as a quality
  Source: The Economist                         space, and automatically define its citizen’s lives as well
                                                spent too.

The First Steps

         Currently Detroit is making strides towards implementing public transit and redevelopment to
better itself. The examples of the M-1, Dearborn Metro Airport commuter line, and the Riverfront are all
in line to help Detroit redefine itself. The next step in line
for public transit is to begin planning the expansion of       “To sustain their [city’s] health there
light rail to the other five main roads leading in and out of
                                                                  has to be more infrastructure” –
Detroit. Doing this will let people transfer between the
                                                                 Lorlene Hoyt, Professor of Urban
city and suburbs easily, and allow bus operations to return
                                                                            Planning at MIT
                                                               Source: Urban Issues
to neighborhoods. Specifically, there needs to be routes
emanating from the center of downtown, near the GM

headquarters, out to the surrounding suburbs. As if spreading out Detroit’s fingers, these main corridors
                                                    stretch out and connect the center of the city with the

                                                         Fort Street should run through to Trenton and
                                                    other Southern neighborhoods.
                                                         Michigan Avenue should run straight into the
                                                    heart of Wayne County.
                                                         Grand River should run through into the
                                                    center of the suburb of Farmington.
                                                         Woodward Avenue should be extended to
                                                    connect Detroit to the major suburbs of Pontiac and
                                                         Gratroit should link the medical complexes in
                                                    the suburb of Clinton to Detroit.
                                                         Jefferson Avenue will follow the Detroit
                                                    River north into Grosse Point, St. Clair and Harrison

        Funding for this should be raised through several means, including: tax revenue, city transit
budget, counties transit budget, federal transit budget, and through private-public partnerships. Much
like when private-public partnerships were used to create the original American rail system, using this
tool for securing funds will provide light rail for the masses and attract businesses to the areas
surrounding stops simultaneously. Ideally, by building up these corridors Detroit can attract the same
style of development it did during the automobile boom.


         The basics of the plan for the redevelopment of Detroit all hinge on the development of an
efficient, integrated, and quality public transit system. Implementing a hierarchal system of hard rail,
light rail, metros, buses, and the People Mover is the first step towards bringing back quality people,
businesses, industry, and space to Detroit. Beginning with the creation of the main corridor light rails,
Detroit will begin a long term shift from being the poster child of Rustbelt depression to a gleaming
beacon for the future of major cities in America. Not only will Detroit reap immediate benefits of better
transit, but revitalizing the city will secure its place for future generations.

         Perhaps there is some poetic irony that Detroit: the Motor City, mass production center for the
car and champion of the highway system, is dying due to the over-usage of the car to spread away from
cities, leaving Detroit in the dust. But out of this dust a new Detroit can be born, a Detroit that will
return to its old days of glory by embracing a changing urban landscape that places importance on public
transit, new technologies, and recreating places worth caring about.


CQ Researcher. Urban Issues. 4th ed. Washington, DC: Sage, 2009. Print.

"Detroit Homes Guide: Motor City Renewing Itself Once Again." Detroit Homes Guide. 2005.Web.

"Detroit Neighborhood Map." Metro Mode Media. 2007.Web.

"Detroit's Future: Thinking about Shrinking." The Economist Web.

"Downtown Detroit Partnership." Downtown Detroit Partnership. 2010.Web.

Gallagher, John. "Acres of Barren Blocks Offer Chance to Reinvent Detroit." Detroit Free Press Web.

"Hantz Farms: Detroit." Hantz Farms. 2009.Web.

"Hantz Group." Hantz Group. 2010.Web. <http://www.hantzgroup.com/>.

James H. Kunstler Dissects Suburbia. TED.com, 2004.

"Metro Denver Demographics." Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation. 2010.Web.

RTD. "Downtown Denver Transit Map." Rutgers University. 2005.Web.

"SMART." SMART. 2010.Web. <http://www.smartbus.org/smart/Home>.

"South Side Pittsburgh." South Side Local Development Company. 2010.Web.

Sternberg, Laura. "Detroit's Riverfront Redevelopment: Project RiverWalk." About.com. 2007.Web.

"Urban Redevelopment Authority." Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh. 2010.Web.

"Welcome Aboard: We'll Take You There." Detroit Transportation Corporation. 2005.Web.

"What's Going On: Rapid Transit Projects in Greater Detroit." Transportation Riders United. March 8th,
    2010Web. <http://www.detroittransit.org/cms.php?pageid=28>.

Beyond the Motor City. Dir. Woolf, Aaron. PBS, 2009. Online.


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