Detroit map shows major empty areas

detroit map

Sue discovered this last night on Google maps. Many areas of Detroit now have vacant land where buildings used to be. Unless the trend is reversed, people and business will continue to leave and the process will accelerate.

I went to college in Michigan. I want Detroit to come back. It’s given us (at least for many decades) a hugely productive auto industry as well as Motown music and some of the greatest rock and roll ever.

Comments on a post at The Big Picture about Detroit indicate the city is making things worse by having high taxes, onerous building regulations, and more. If so, that needs to change immediately.

Maybe they could bring back homesteading. Let people take abandoned houses for free if they agree to live there for several years. Ditto for businesses. Give people and business a reason to relocate there.


  1. Robert,

    You would appreciate this article out of Harper’s July, 2007. (Detroit Arcadia)

    I downloaded it, and can send you the pdf (25 Mb) if you want.

    By then, there was so much empty space in Detroit and so much hunger, that people had started urban farms to feed others. The author actually propounds the notion that Detroit might become a new center for urban farming.

    I wouldn’t go that far, but the historical introduction she gives is simply magnificent. Detroit’s population has declined from 4 million in the 50s to less than a million now. An utterly banal end to an utterly banal French fortress.

  2. I see the sprawl here in AZ and there were too many developments thrown up – sucking up the desert and beautiful natural places. I actually think it would not be a bad thing for some of the exurbs to go back to desert, farms and orchards. Dust to dust and ashes to ashes.

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