Obama administration officials are expected to propose roughly $300 million in aid to Detroit later today. It’s a paltry amount for largest U.S. city to ever declare bankruptcy and comes nowhere near the $18.5 billion of debt obligations Detroit has on its books.
This latest cash infusion is being made by a motley assortment of federal, state and private foundations and is ear-marked for improvements to the transit system and “blight improvements.”
Investing in transit while demolishing vacant buildings nicely encapsulates the process of “creative destruction” at work in Motown. At 138,000 square miles Detroit is a massive, increasingly desolate place. Over the last 60 years the population has dropped more than 60% from 1.85 million in 1950 to 700,000 today. It’s the kind of city where gorgeous buildings are stuck in desolate, dangerous locations.
One of the people in charge of saving Detroit is Michigan Governor Rick Snyder. A Michigan native who built a net worth in the vicinity of $200 million as a Gateway executive and venture capitalist, Snyder is a self-described “nerd” with a pragmatic, tech-friendly approaching to remaking the city.
Speaking to Breakout from a packed tech conference last week, Snyder insists Detroit is already on the mend. “This isn’t about starting from scratch,” Snyder insists, “It’s already been going for several years.”Read More »from How Gov. Rick Snyder Plans to Save Detroit