The Emergence, Decline, and Possible Revitalization of a Great City
This chapter introduces the City of Detroit, starting with a glimpse of its early history and growth as an industrial power through the first half of the 20th century. The chapter also offers a political, demographic, and statistical overview of its decline in the second half of the 20th century. The chapter offers an up-to-date summary of the city’s federal Chapter 9 bankruptcy proceedings and its emergence from financial disaster. It ends by describing several perspectives on Detroit’s future from optimistic to realistic, setting the stage for what the city has faced leading up to and during the time of the Skillman Foundation’s Good Neighborhoods work.
Keywords: city–suburban conflict, deindustrialization, Detroit, Kevyn Orr, municipal bankruptcy, neighborhood decline, racial conflict, racial residential segregation, suburbanization, urban revitalization
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