polis: a collective blog about cities worldwide

Liberty City Coming Soon

by Anna Fogel

Detroit attracts a lot of attention from a lot of people, including Polis and pretty much everyone else involved in the dialogue on urbanism. I've noticed Detroit in half a dozen of Polis's recent Assorted Links posts. There have been links to articles on the dire situation of Detroit public schools, art and photography inspired by Detroit, and visions for the city's future. Fellow Polis blogger, Alex Schafran, has posted a series of thoughtful articles on Detroit, including the first in his series from August 2010.

As I drove around Detroit a few weeks ago, a number of Alex's points resonated: the sinking feeling that perhaps Detroit is not worth saving, or that approaches to shrinking cities will be too painful or difficult to implement in this city, that in many ways the city and its future have been further condemned by the "decay porn" or "ruin porn," and ultimately, I felt dominated by a sense of hopelessness and economic emptiness in the city.

At the risk of falling into some of the above criticisms, I've included a couple of photographs from my time in Detroit — because even though we keep writing about it, we still haven't done enough to rehabilitate or recreate this city.

Credits: Photos of Detroit in May 2011 by Anna Fogel.