Lessons in Revitalizing Cities

Monday, March 04, 2013

With Detroit falling deeper into debt and the local government helpless to respond, governor Rick Snyder declared a financial emergency in the city on Friday. The next step is to appoint an emergency manager who will be tasked with turning Motown around. 

Nobody says it will be easy, but it's been done before. In the 80s and 90s, industrial giant Pittsburgh began hemorrhaging factory jobs. Smoke stacks stopped puffing and the amount of vacant properties skyrocketed. Don Carter, the director of urban design and regional engagement at the Remaking Cities Institute of Carnegie Mellon University explains how the city bounced back from bleak job losses and economic depression. 

More recently, New Orleans took both a physical and economic hit when Hurricane Katrina made landfall in 2005. Since then, residents have been working to rebuild mainly the poorer parts of town that were hit hardest by the storm. Nick Spitzer, producer and host of American Routes, describes what that process has looked like.


Don Carter

Produced by:

Joe Hernandez and Mythili Rao

Comments [2]

Gordon Cheyne from Tavares Fl

It's interesting you mentioned Grand Rapids Mi. as one of the best second-tier cities. It deserves the compliment. I lived there for 40 years. It has one of the largest collection of historical homes in the country, named Heritage Hill. It's downtown is thriving with culture. It hosts an annual Artprize competition that has drawn international attention. I'm amazed everytime I return.

Mar. 04 2013 12:46 PM
Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

For over twenty years I've had collectible stores throughout the five boroughs of New York City. I went into depressed neighborhoods with cheaper rent. Real Estate brokers trying to rent apartments to young people would show off my store,"Its not a bad neighborhood anymore, it even has a vintage shop."
People would move into the neighborhood, and the real estate people would then raise my rent so much it would force me out.
You want places like Detroit to take off, offer free ownership of buildings to New York businesses which had to close because of Real Estate greed.
I would move to Detroit, and so would many of my friends who are disillusioned by working exclusively for land lords and Real Estate Management companies.

Mar. 04 2013 11:15 AM

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