A 40-Year Transformation for Detroit's RiverWalk

Since the mid-1970s, Detroit’s riverfront has been transforming from a depressed industrial area into a bustling district for families and businesses.

John Gallagher and Zlati Meyer report on the success of RiverWalk, after forty years in the works:

"Planners say the riverfront eventually will offer economic as well as recreational opportunities. As the housing market recovers, city officials and developers look forward to the construction of hundreds or even thousands of upscale condos and rental apartments and retail stores, investments that could total in the hundreds of millions of dollars."

The job is clearly not complete: Gallagher and Meyer found gaps on the RiverWalk that still need to be filled, include stalled plans for condos, apartments, and retail spaces and parks that need to be rebuilt.

Full Story: After 40 years, Detroit's riverfront goes from factories and shipping to housing, retail, recreation



Getting People to Come.

Although Detroit is located across from Canada and is geographically located in a very unique and strategic location and has had some very impressive redevelopment in the past decade it is not taking advantage of some very lucrative things.
A new general aviation airport just North of Downtown and right off Woodward needs to be built. Several campgrounds that are RV friendly need to built along and near the river. The city needs to be redeveloped with a boating theme and access and can become North America's premier boating and RV city.
Detroit already has casinos, bars, sport stadiums, etc, but there is not much to really draw people from outside the area and get them to move to it.
The new GA Airport could also be designed so that aircraft owners can live with their plane, a house in front and a hanger in the back along the airfield.
A better mode of home financing that can be pushed through the federal government is needed such as a plan where cities like Detroit would benefit by providing housing vouchers to any U.S. Citizen rich or poor a voucher to pay rent or buy for up to $800.00 for up to 10 years, this would bring in a diverse population and 3 million of these vouchers should be provided to Detroit and another 2 million to Michigan. Traditional Section 8 in the U.S. is expensive and in places like Los Angeles a 1 bedroom apartment is about $1,300, a person on Section 8 does not need to live in a expensive city and the plan that I describe here would benefit the environment by shifting populations from overpopulated areas to underpopulated cities such as Detroit, benefit the average person with lower cost housing and investment opportunities, benefit the tax base, create a first class city on a international border.
The voucher system should additionally allow any person to buy a home or planned home with no down payment and with poor or no credit from a person or entity that is willing to accept these vouchers and this is because the owner would be getting paid and not have to worry.
Continuing to rely on the big banks, Wallstreet, big oil, etc. is obviously not working and will not work, a big radical shift of voluntary population shifting is what will rebuild Detroit.
The world's population is approaching 6 billion, there is entirely no reason why Detroit cannot become a city that is home to 3 to 5 million, it now has the space to become America's premier urban business, living, and recreation center.

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