Saturday, July 20, 2013

In 1960 Detroit had the highest per capita income in America

And a population of two million.

Now with 700,000, half functionally illiterate, the city is bankrupt.

But the suburbs are fine. Troy is fantastically wealthy and Auburn Hills is nice.

But if you live in Troy you don't go to Detroit.

What happened was the city died and the donut ring survived.

Now that seems impossible in Canada but is it? Industrial cities like Hamilton can go downhill while Dundas and Ancaster grow. Even proud Toronto could (especially if the current municipal politics continues) be overtaken by Markham and Pickering and Oakville.

Don't think Detroit has no implications for elsewhere.


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, in North America, unless there were geographical boundaries, we made the mistake of building our cities like giant centrifuges, forever pushing people from the core while ever expanding the cost of maintaining suburbs. The failure of Detroit stares us all down now because we've followed the pattern over and over again. Police and fire forces, garbage pickup, ambulance teams and public transit are just a few examples of costs that have to be repeated with every new suburb.

What a waste.

It's time to wake up and smell the promissory notes.

Anonymous said...

Interesting. You seem to believe that it is possible somehow to limit population shifts by 'not making mistakes.' Maybe something like the Berlin Wall right? Built to keep people in.
When life is good, people thrive and expand.
When the good life is limited in any way, most people vote with their feet.
Pattern huh,
Services should be provided for and paid for the populations they serve without extorting unrealistic costs for those services.
If that equation becomes overbalanced for any reason, it self adjusts.