What are current outside perceptions of Detroit, and what can residents realistically do to alter these? Is it in the city’s interest to project an image of Detroit as a “blank canvas” or a place of “endless possibility"? Or is it preferable to present the city as a major metropolitan area with traditional opportunities, despite apparent problems?
The current national meme of Detroit considers the city a modern version of the Wild West: a place for homesteaders, urban pioneers and experimentation. However, is this a realistic depiction of the contemporary city?
Some worry that this story, while likely to be inspiring to young people and artists, might not be appealing to more traditional business types. Perhaps Detroit would be best served by an external image of a surviving, traditional city with pockets of innovation and experimentation.