Urban Revivals Give Hope to Detroit Emergency Manager

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, emergency manager Kevyn Orr explains how his own experiences living in once-derelict, now-thriving cities leave him optimistic about Detroit's revival.

"What do northwest Washington, D.C., South Beach Miami and upper Manhattan have in common? Less than 50 years ago, the now vibrant communities didn't look much different from most of Detroit, says emergency manager Kevyn Orr—whom Gov. Rick Snyder tapped in March to revive the broken Motor City. This is what gives him hope that Detroit can stage a comeback," writes Allysia Finley.

"His downtown office overlooks Detroit's restored waterfront and the redeveloped General Motors Renaissance Center. From this vantage point the city appears almost lustrous, and Mr. Orr exudes a contagious energy and optimism about the future. He plans to navigate the city out of bankruptcy by next fall, when his 18-month term expires, notwithstanding opposition from creditors who want to gut public services and soak taxpayers to get their money back."

"But Mr. Orr says his primary responsibility is to the city's 700,000 residents, not its capital market creditors and 30,000 retirees and workers. Despite vocal union opposition, he believes he has support from the silent majority. 'The vast majority of people are like, 'We just want it fixed even if we don't like the emergency manager.'"

Full Story: Kevyn Orr: How Detroit Can Rise Again

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