Wednesday, May 16, 2012

detroit's "other"worldly decay...,

The Atlantic | Detroit is a city in flux. There are bright spots -- pockets of development, a vibrant art scene, sophisticated restaurants, and a growing number of community gardens -- but signs of life are overshadowed by miles and miles of blight. Last May, the state turned Detroit's public schools over to an emergency manager, a businessman named Roy Roberts with a long history in the auto industry and financial markets.

The city as a whole may soon find itself under the same kind of supervision. As I photographed a public school that's up for sale, I spoke to a developer who is trying to get a "green project" built. I asked him whether or not an emergency manager would be good for the city. He shrugged and said he could only hope the governor would put smart a smart person in charge.
Detroit's urban landscape is a mix of deserted schools and churches, factories, and houses. Its abandoned manufacturing plants have become otherworldly environments, the haunt of photographers shooting what has been called "ruin porn." Michigan Central, once the world's tallest train station, is fenced off as workers in hard hats scurry around. The Packard Automotive Plant, a graffiti artist's heaven, is set for demolition this summer. Plans for the redevelopment of these sites has yet to be revealed.

Things have been managed so badly for so long in Detroit that many find the idea of an emergency manager enticing. But the track records of emergency managers in Flint, Pontiac, Benton Harbor, and Ecorse have been controversial. Organizations such as Michigan Forward warn Detroit's citizens' not to hand over their city, arguing that services will get worse and people in the "99 percent" will have to pay more for them. The benefits, according to these groups, will be reaped by major corporations, at the expense of the poor and middle class. And once an emergency manager is in place, they argue, the entire political process will be put on hold -- there will be no votes, no city council, no way for citizens to make their voices heard

Could Detroit become the first major city in America to have all of its public services privatized? Signs are pointing in that direction. The question for those living on the precipice in the Metro Detroit area is whether to stay and turn things around or leave before they get worse.

To view the rules concerning eligibility for emergency managers in Michigan and a current list of cities deemed eligible, see this page at


John Kurman said...

How long before Omni Consumer Products owns and operates the Detroit Police Department?

CNu said...

not very damn long at all or any of John Robb's drone videos at global guerillas

Booradley999 said...

I have no problem in the state temporarily taking over a place like Detroit.  What has been going on for 40 years hasn't worked so there is  nothing to lose by trying something new.  

CNu said...

Welcome to the spot! 

This is what will happen in Detroit, on an exponentially larger scale

Sabrinabee said...

This saddens me. There is so much that has been taken for granted over the years. how did the so-called party of the people not see this as a possibility? These people can't even help themselves. How can one be expected to be considered an American when these types of decisions happen? I certainly wouldn't feel like a patriot if my city was taken over by people who were not voted into office, i'd feel like a concentration camp resident. It's unAmerican.

Sabrinabee said...

No kidding. That is all that this is, a way to channel federal funds into the hands of dummy corps. with ties to certain lawmakers.

CNu said...

I'm gonna guess that a lot of folks felt that way under sway of the Kilpatricks until finally they set the big dummie of all big dummies 2nd/3rd line inheritor of the civil rights movement up for his long overdue and just desserts. But to your point, just like what we're witnessing in Greece and elsewhere across the EU, the governments being voted in by people faced with severe austerity measures are - how you say - special