Week Three: How to Kill a City Reflection – Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program

Week Three: How to Kill a City Reflection

It was so interesting to read up on the ways that Detroit has become the city that it is today. I have heard some things about the transformation and about the corruption going on but to read it in more detail was really informative. I feel like I have a better understanding of the problematic aspects of the city and a better grasp of what gentrification is. 

Gentrification is a word that I have heard thrown around a lot throughout these past few years and while I knew the meaning, I did not know what its causes were or how it translated into reality. It was really informative to learn of the ways that these people came into the neighborhood and how the government was actively encouraging this process. I think it was surprising to learn about the ways that houses are priced so low with such high taxes as well as see the stark contrast between the rich and those who are gentrifying the city receive million-dollar tax cuts while the poor cannot even afford to pay their taxes due to the corrupt system. 

I was able to gain new knowledge about how the city operates and some of the concerns of the people who live there which allowed me to understand the ways that the government continuously fails the city. As part of my project, we are working on community development so after the reading I understood the issues they were discussing more thoroughly. It also shifted my perspective on the city and the “improvements” that we are witnessing.

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