How to Kill a City surprised me in many ways. It showed me how quickly gentrification can take over and how easily history is forgotten or ignored. It was heartbreaking to hear about how people who have owned their houses for decades could no longer afford to pay taxes and were then forced to pay rent to landlords that never even lived in Detroit. How to Kill a City made me realize that it’s not the “Hipsters” taking over that are changing the cities, it’s the billion dollar corporations treating cities like a monopoly game that are causing mass gentrification. I feel guilty going Downtown to these new modern places now that I learned these businesses were most likely stolen from poor owners. I no longer think downtown looks cooler than it used to be, all I can think about is how people lost their homes and entire lives to random young people with a little bit of money. What really stood out to me was the 7.2 square miles the author pointed out. That small area is almost entirely brand new, but it’s causing more problems than ever. People living around this area feel like they are cut off from the rest of Detroit and do not have access to any of Downtowns benefits like transportation and new jobs. How to Kill a City completely changed my view about Downtown Detroit and other popular cities.
On a lighter note, Serena and I went in office for the first time this week. Here’s a picture we took at Cadillac Urban Garden 🙂