Friday, 19 July 2013

Writing - The demise of Detroit

Decline in Detroit

You just have to feel for the ordinary people who have to carry on their lives in such a stressful situation.

Detroit has become the largest US city ever to file for bankruptcy, with debts of at least $18bn (£12bn).
The city, once a symbol of US industrial power, is seeking protection from creditors who include public-sector workers and their pension funds.
Unions described the bankruptcy filing as a power grab.
Detroit has faced decades of problems linked to declining industry. Public services are nearing collapse and about 70,000 properties lie abandoned.

Detroit - known as Motor City for its once-thriving automobile industry - stopped unsecured-debt payments last month to keep the city running.


Motown is an American record company founded by Berry Gordy, Jr. in 1959 in DetroitMichigan in the United States. The name, a portmanteau of motor and town, is also a nickname for Detroit. Motown played an important role in the racial integration of popular music by achieving a crossover success. In the 1960s, Motown and its soul-based subsidiaries were the most successful proponents of what came to be known as "The Motown Sound", a style of soul music with a distinct pop influence.

And some sad statistics
  • Population has shrunk from a peak of 2 million in the 1950s to 713,000 today
  • Highest violent crime rate of any major US city, with 15,245 reported incidents in 2011
  • Some 78,000 abandoned and blighted buildings
  • 40% of street lights do not work
  • Only a third of the city's ambulances are in service
  • Just 53% of owners paid their 2011 property taxes

Jonny Dymond a Washington correspondent,

'Detroit's fall is complete. It is a depressing, if inevitable, end to a grotesque saga of decline, corruption and mismanagement.'

Once again an example of people in high places, probably elected by ordinary folk, that have let themselves and the people they represent down.

I had an interesting comment from a fellow writer on my recent design blog that raised the matter of sources of inspiration. Although it may seem unkind to use Detroit's situation in such a way there are obvious opportunities for the writer to support the ordinary citizens of that city. The spectre of dereliction and decay has an apocalyptic quality that some may find valuable.

God Bless