Home > Architecture & Urban Design, Lazy Post, Politics, Things I Like... > Lazy Post No. 4 : Decaying Detroit…

Lazy Post No. 4 : Decaying Detroit…

September 14, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

I caught the end of a programme about the current state of the US city of Detroit, Michigan on TV earlier this week. I knew the city was in trouble, but to say I was shocked to actually see the levels of urban decay and degradation that exist in an round round the place, would be something of an understatement…

Decaying Detroit_15

The economic crash of the last 6 years and the slow death since the 1980’s of the American motor trade on which Detroit was built, have all contributed to a frightening drop in population from close to 2 million at its peak in the 1960’s to less than 700,000 now, that’s two-thirds of the people… gone.

Along with this depopulation has come the and decline of the housing and other built fabric that once so proudly declared Motor City as one of the wealthiest in America; schools, railway stations, factories, shops and houses are all being abandoned due to lack of money, lack of people and lack of any prospects of things improving in the future…

Decaying Detroit_8

The politics are undoubtedly fiendishly complex and I don’t know enough about them to comment. Detroit filed for bankruptcy earlier this year with debts estimated to be in the region of $18 to $20 Billion, and how a city comes back from that I can’t imagine…

Needless to say it’s the people in the neighbourhoods, and local communities that have borne the brunt of the suffering, as whole blocks have been vacated and gradually left to rot, or be destroyed by the dissaffected and the bored… I’ve read that there are upwards of 15,000 empty homes in Detroit that attract vandalism and arson, with the often more than 50 fires a night being left to burn themselves out as the Fire Department hasn’t got the means to address them all..

These are just a few of the images I’ve found on the net. It must be a very difficult & challenging place to live right now…

Decaying Detroit_14

Decaying Detroit_9


Decaying Detroit_13Decaying Detroit_3


  1. Tim
    September 14, 2013 at 10:04

    Apparently some of it is reverting to farmland.
    Maybe if the city has no use anymore, a managed reversion is a good idea?

  2. Meech
    September 15, 2013 at 23:15

    Wow thanks again Joe for highlighting something else I was unaware of. It’s very apocalyptic looking – is the documentary on bbc I-player?

  3. Tim
    September 19, 2013 at 11:59

    I’d advocate saving the worthwhile bits & bulldozing the rest, turning it into parks & wildlife areas, countryside & farming.

  4. September 29, 2013 at 20:56

    America’s embarrassment on full display. There’s a lesson there if anyone cares to recognize it. Pathetic.

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