Motor City

Detroit Abandoned School

An Abandoned School in Detroit, Michigan (Source: Detroit1701, Flickr)

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They’re not Detroit?

I certainly love a comeback.

Despite all the hate for Cleveland recently, the city is finally taking an aggressive approach to curb its decline. According to The Atlantic CITIES, the 2010 U.S. Census showed the slightest population growth in the city’s core. Moreover, Downtown Cleveland now boasts a 95% occupancy rate.

This recent population shift truly represents the impact of North Americans’ evolving lifestyle preferences. My parents never even considered raising a family in the inner city, and my generation is now flocking to the neighbourhoods that were neglected for most of the postwar years.

In D.C., my friends and I spent long nights on the U Street Corridor, a neighbourhood that was once home to drug traffickers and the 1968 race riots. Older generations were once told to never step outside after dark on U Street, and now even the New York Times is calling it¬†“new and hip.”

The same phenomenon is happening in Toronto’s once-derelict Parkdale, New York’s Harlem, and even Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

Hopefully the trend catches on in Edmonton, as our downtown could certainly use a facelift.

Detroit Lives?

If anybody knows me well, they know how much I love the Detroits of the world. And I’m being completely serious. That’s why I was thrilled to stumble across this documentary on Documentary Heaven tonight. It features Johnny Knoxville, bad-ass art and one of my fave cities.

Photo Source: theurbanelife.com

This short doc really reminded me of the Heidelberg Project, a collaborative public art project that’s transforming Detroit’s East Side, and obviously one of the top priorities on my bucket list.