Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Trying to Envision Solutions

Those who've read this blog know that I LOVE cities.  I love the energy, the noise, the conveniences, and even some of the grit (though not too much).  I love that more cities are seeing more investment and growth in their historic and commercial cores.  I particularly 24/7 cities, where there is always some solid amount of activity anytime one ventures out.

I was fascinated by an article in Slate that I read regarding Detroit, a city that has experienced incredible decline in the last several decades.  With the re-emergence of the American auto industry, people have been talking up "Detroit," but this article focused on a documentary that posits whether or not the real Detroit is a harbinger of things to come for the U.S., as we adjust to the new realities of the global marketplace.

As I watched the video clip (which I will include below), I was reminded of the things I saw when I traveled to New Orleans following the Katrina related flooding.  It's clear that Detroit, like New Orleans, needs some real comprehensive city planning.  Perhaps, Detroit could become a re-imagined city with a smaller footprint.  I think that it can be a great potential laboratory, and jobs could be created in a variety of areas as those experiments are tried and tested.  Perhaps Detroit needs a well managed overhauling, and one that the people of the city supports, as did the auto companies that have made such a comeback.


Anonymous said...

The FORMER Big 3 didn't attempt to make exceptional small cars to stem foreign competition in North America, or to increase their global footprint in that segment. Even after the 1973 oil embargo, cars didn't materially move toward efficiency, they s-l-o-w-l-y inched to meet CAFE laws.

Our automakers were revenue-per-vehicle wise, and market-share foolish. Quarter after quarter they pleased Wall Street, and pocketed a bonus. Meanwhile foreign competitors gained valuable market share with only a small amount of resistance.

Arrogant business leaders didn't plan on their own obsolescence, but market forces did away with them and, sadly, the city where they ruled.

I'm just sayin'.

Art said...

You should see the film Urbanized, if you have not.