“Katrina without water”
This line from the book “How to Kill a City” is painful to read. I’ve seen how the devastation of Katrina continues to affect New Orleans, my home, to this day. There are striking similarities between neighborhoods here in Detroit and those that have never recovered from Katrina in terms of development and investment in the community and infrastructure. So, reading this line and understanding that context is astounding that such devastation could happen in a city without a natural disaster.
These areas in New Orleans still suffer today because they have been forgotten or pushed away by the city. This is the same with areas outside of the 7.2 miles of the gentrification core in Detroit.
Some of these places are really only surviving because of nonprofit and community investment. When organizations and community members stand up and say: We see you. We hear you. You are not expendable. That’s where a lot of these nice things that are truly from the community come from.
But downtown is a different story. Downtown reeks of private investment. Now, when I go to downtown it’s a little bit sour to walk around and see all the very nice buildings and “hip” places. One thing I noticed when I first got here was that the only real transportation besides the bus system such as the Q-line street-train, People Mover subway-system, and trollies are all in high class areas. Now that I have read this book, I understand why: this transportation is within that 7.2 mile core of Detroit gentrification. So, who is this transportation really for is a question the book asks and the answer is not the average Detroiter.
I hope to continue reading this book to learn more about why this is happening and how it can be stopped.