When Detroit filed for bankruptcy last month, it wasn’t much of a surprise. With its boarded-up houses, abandoned schools, declining public services and shrinking population, it had become the country’s most depressing city. At least, that’s how it looked to outsiders.
The good news about Detroit’s bankruptcy filing, though, is that it was like hitting rock bottom. Where could the city go from there, but up?
In starting over, Detroit is finally in an optimistic position. Play things right, and it could reinvent itself into the city of the future with smarter economic engines, a modern workforce and public services tailored to city needs.
For anyone who’s ever envisioned the perfect city, Detroit offers the opportunity to get in on the ground floor.
And actually, Detroit’s recovery may already be underway. “What we are seeing is a network of philanthropic and business leaders coming together to revive that core of the city,” said Bruce Katz of the Brookings Institute in a recent interview with NPR’s “Fresh Air.”
“Something exciting is happening off the platform of what I could call good bones, good assets, older iconic historic buildings. I see energy and pragmatism and an affirmative vision stemming from the core of that city,” Katz said.