Detroit is no newcomer to success. Nearly 60 years ago, Detroit was the wealthiest city in the world. Wealthier than London, wealthier than Paris and wealthier than New York.
Then Detroit hit a significant rough patch, lost its storyline, and today city leaders like Mayor Mike Duggan are working through all of that. But unlike many other places in distress, the fundamentals of Detroit are strong.
People have inner cities all wrong. They are not wastelands, they are gold mines. 50-60 years ago, inner cities were traditional bedroom communities. But for a range of reasons, middle class and upper middle class residents began to move out towards the suburbs. Back then, that was called quality of life. Today, people are tired of driving one to two hours each way, every day, just to get from home to work and back again. The quality of their lives is now increasingly being spent on highways and byways. And young college graduates seem to naturally love the gritty authenticity that a downtown inner city has to offer; in Detroit, and in major cities clear across America.
The reality is that inner-city neighborhoods are nothing more or less than centrally located real estate. They are close to downtown, close to the major transportation hubs and arteries. Close to the waterfront and their trade routes. Close to work, and play.
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