Detroit Adapts to “New Realities of Metro Revolution”

Thursday, June 26, 2014

In the midst of all the bad news about Detroit, it appears that the city also has quite a bit going for it. Brookings notes that Detroit is one of the places that is adapting most quickly to the new reality for cities and metropolitan areas – namely, that Congress isn’t addressing many national challenges, and “in this vacuum, cities and metros are left to leverage opportunities and tackle challenges themselves.” What Detroit is getting right: leveraging its distinctive economy, with a high concentration of R&D intensive, STEM-oriented advanced industries; repairing its municipal balance sheet, using its unfortunate bankruptcy proceedings to restore minimal municipal services; unlocking capital from private and civic institutions, soliciting money from philanthropic and private businesses; and collaborating to compete, exemplified by the more than $800 million in contributions from the state, private foundations, the Big Three automakers, and fundraising by the Detroit Institute of Art.