Detroit Reborn

In the first edition of a new series, Richard Florida introduces us to the inspiring stories of entrepreneurs and artists, designers and musicians invested in the bottom-up effort to revive Detroit.
May 17, 2012, 5am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Long the butt of jokes about failing cities, and with good reason due to its unprecedented decline, a new spirit of optimism is infusing the Motor City, following on the "long legacy of creativity and innovation that are part of the city's very DNA."

Florida introduces readers to some of the organizations, artists, entrepreneurs, and institutions leading Detroit's revival.

"Organizations such as I Am Young Detroit, Detroit Lives, and Detroit 4 Detroitare the products of energetic and engaged locals who are utilizing everything from citizen philanthropy to social branding to change the way people view Detroit from the ground up. The PowerHouse Project promotes neighborhood stabilization and revitalization by supporting artistic and creative enterprises, while PonyRide supports collaboration among community members as they create new opportunities and ideas. Every time someone signs the Detroit Declaration, they are making a commitment to their community."

"Detroit's new generation of place makers and city-builders draws deeply on the city and the region's many assets. Yes, urban renewal devastated parts of the city, and yes, it's true that there are too many empty lots and abandoned buildings. But a walk through and around the urban core evidences a fabulous urban fabric with fantastic historic buildings of the very sort that Jane Jacobs was talking about when she said that old buildings give rise to new ideas."

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Published on Tuesday, May 15, 2012 in The Atlantic Cities
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