Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Detroit Saved

Chicago, not Detroit, is dying at Pacific Standard magazine.

Theme: Migration mesofacts and urbanist boondoggles.

Subject Article: "Can Insular Detroit Become a Chicago or a Pittsburgh?"

Other Links: 1. "Despite Bankruptcy, Momentum in Motown Builds for Streetcar."
2. "Detroit Postmortem."
3. "The Rise of New Immigrant Gateways."
4. "Why the Smartest People in the Midwest All Move To Chicago."
5. "Immigration and In-Migration."
6. "Telestrian: A Better Way to Find, Look At, Analyze, and View Data About Cities, Counties, States, and Regions."
7. "Joseph Rose vs. the Portland Streetcar: Walking wins in showdown of city's poky commuting modes ."

Postscript: The comparisons of other cities such as Chicago and Pittsburgh to Detroit are sloppy. The spate of articles that have come out about Detroit's bankruptcy obfuscate more than they illuminate. Hold up your pet point of view and Detroit proves you have been right all along. Something is wrong in Detroit. Figuring out the reasons for the problems won't be easy. I know I'm not sure how Detroit got to the sorry place it is today. I'm also not sure what makes Pittsburgh tick. But I do have some theories. Then I read the following this morning:

But in recent years, Pittsburgh has been revitalized. According to a 2012 Brookings Institute report, Pittsburgh is one of only three American cities that have bounced back from the Great Recession.

The reasons for this turnaround are clear. Since the steel industry left in the 1980s, causing a mass exodus of people (680,000 lived in Pittsburgh in 1950 compared with 330,000 in 2000) city leaders have made a series of strategic decisions to attract new business.

They offered subsidies to health care and technology firms to come to the city. This bolstered the already-strong University of Pittsburgh hospital system. Tech companies like Google, attracted by high-skilled workers graduating from Carnegie Mellon, soon followed.

Emphasis added. The reasons for this turnaround are clear? That lame rhetorical flourish says all that needs to be said about The Fiscal Times.

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