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12-08-2012, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by sepster View Post
This type of project takes decades of sustained projects and coordination to happen. You can't look at one or two projects as if they exist only onto themselves and say, "whelp, that stadium has been round for 8 years and the city isn't a rolling metropolis, so its a failure." It's creating a critical mass of entertainment, housing and safety that will attract people to the city. It's happening but it needs to be sustained.
The problem is the "island effect". We've seen this in Baltimore where this sort of investment has happened for decades without a notable effect on the overall state of the city. I mean look at the geography involved, we're talking a small part of the downtown core i.e. the part of the city that is considered already fairly safe and attractive in almost any other city.

Why is this such a big problem in Detroit? Because there isn't enough economic muscle in Detroit to even maintain the most attractive parts of the downtown core. If you need to invest billions through publically financed building projects just to have this effect in this part of a small part of Detroit, you would probably need to spend the entire federal budget to replicate the effect for the entire city. And it's a fallacy to believe a "a nice entertainment district in a part of downtown" translates to "better city overall".

There are obviously *major* structural issues in Detroit, from a corrupt political leadership to ineffective public services. In some ways such investment in Detroit is throwing good money after bad, because this entertain district won't fix the council, the schools, the police and so forth i.e. many of the things that actually have contributed through the years to that economic muscle leaving Detroit for other parts of the state and country.

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