Rust Belt Chic

30 Jun

I’ve stumbled across some really great sites written in, or about, Detroit.  The Urbanophile blog is one of them.  Written by an urban analyst passionate about cities (especially Midwestern ones), the Urbanophile is “on a mission to help America’s cities thrive and find sustainable success in the 21st century,” (from his author bio).  Last weekend he posted this poignant story about the importance of cities like Detroit, Buffalo, Cleveland, and other struggling “Rust Belt” cities.  Renn focuses on Buffalo, but the idea applies to all cities like it, including Detroit.  The idea is that, in order to have a “prosperous and sustainable America”, we can’t have “disposable” cities, a term he uses to describe America’s attitude toward cities like Detroit.

Renn sees a lot of hope for these Rust Belt metropolises, and I do, too.  “A new generation of urbanists sees these cities with fresh eyes,” he says.  “They see the decay, yes, but also the opportunity—and the possibilities for the present and future.  To them this is Rust Belt Chic.”  See that?  He summed up all the fire I’ve got about Detroit in three sentences.  I don’t agree with everything he says (particularly his assertion that these cities aren’t “sexy” or “hip”, but I’ll make that argument another day), but his article gets me all fired up—and you should feel the same way.  Take a look for yourself here

Speaking of great links, you might’ve noticed a section on the right-hand side of this page called, “The Good Stuff.”  Those are links I’ve been collecting, sites or blogs about Detroit and the Midwest that I find interesting.  I’m always looking for new sites, so if you know of any, leave a comment and tell me about it—I’ll be sure to add it to the list.


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