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Saving Detroit ...and other troubled American cities


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#1 DrBubb

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 03:34 AM

How to Save Detroit and other troubled American cities

=== ===

shanghai-detroit.jpg

How to Save Detroit - and other troubled American cities

Q:
"What is the solution for Detroit, in your opinion?"


A:
The is obvious, isn't it? Only blindness and bureacracy is holding it back:


Writedown the debt by 90-98%, and then, What?

+ Build a new light rail system along Woodward Avenue, using private funds
+ Change the zoning laws and building codes to encourage mixed use and densification along the rail station

+ Make it cheap and easy to design and re-purpose buildings
+ Build Smaller homes (and offices), closer together, with a better design (cf Sarah Susanka )
+ Less parking, and few cars, but more "community spaces", where people can meet
+ Police the areas near the stations and where it is dense and will be easier to provide effective policing
+ Encourage start-up companies, and keep the red-tape at a minimum
+ Keep taxes for business at levels which are competitive with the areas around the USA

===


go9g.jpg

Removing the shackles of red tape, building codes, and excessive taxes is very important
since it will help to create private sector jobs

===
AX : http://www.AsiaXpat.com : http://hongkong.asia...ve-detroit-etc/


The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix

#2 DrBubb

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 08:57 AM

Duany : "LEAN" - It's Time to kill off the Building Codes !

The Founder of CNU wants to kill off expensive and restrictive Building Codes,
which make it impossible to design and build small projects

(about 42 mins in):

"We want to deliver a world where the young can operate"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYkMtZlEN_w

"Do you realise... EVERYTHING Now is illegal?"

He proposes the establishment of "Pink" Codes - with lighter restrictions

This is a wonderful REVOLUTIONARY statement - Much needed.

Duany doesn't want to "nudge" Architectural schools (they are dying*),
he wants to Bypass them

*Dying, because they are too expensive, and loaded with Code-heavy thinking
The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix

#3 DrBubb

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 09:01 AM

Remembering when...

Detroit once saw itself as a Great City, enjoying a Renaissance

Posted Image

Listening to NPR: Planet Money Podcast (#475: What Happened To Detroit's Big Plans?)

MP3 :

Posted Image

The inspiration for RenCen? One or both of these:

Posted Image : Posted Image

Were they Mad?
The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix

#4 DrBubb

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 10:19 AM

Beating JABBA the Not-Hut : Killing the American fascination with Huge suburban Homes

Posted Image

Instead of smiting the piggies, the New Urbanists are winning converts...
Through sense, charm, and the attractive ideas of British architect, Sarah Susanka (of Not-So-Big Homes):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2y7xnpulqNk

"Quality does not reside in Bigness."
"You do not need a 5,000 - 6,000 sf house... You need a house that feels like home."

Posted Image
The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix

#5 DrBubb

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 10:48 AM

The way is was ... as Detroit destroyed itself with suburban sprawl....

Once upon a time, they built grand homes on Grand Boulevard

Posted Image

They they moved further out, providing smaller homes for the working and middle classes

Posted Image

But these weren't big enough for ambitious Americans, who wanted even bigger homes (mcMansions), with more land around them, so they needed bigger and wider highways to get the cars all the way from the jobs downtown to those suburban areas.

Monstrous ribbons were built:

Posted Image

And the hearts of neighborhoods were cut with highways to allow this:

Posted Image

Suburbanites got their big homes, miles beyond 8 Mile Road :

Posted Image

But city life died, because the only thing people had left were fractured neighborhoods

Posted Image

Nowhere to walk to. Few buses. All you can do is get into your car, and drive somewhere else... that's no better either.

And Eminem showed us what that left inside 8 Mile, which is the edge of Detroit:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqKgnaqUHhg

And Naturally, the employers left the fractured city too.
The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix

#6 DrBubb

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 11:43 AM

Want to eliminate all those destructive highways? That would be a good start

But you need to replace them with something that can also efficiently connect people with jobs.
If you use Rail, you will need more density, particularly around the stations
The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix

#7 DrBubb

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 03:10 PM

It is not too late to treat these Banksters as they deserve -- they need a Haircut

http://larouchepac.c...pv_1jVQ.twitter

Detroit: Pensions or Derivatives? Glass-Steagall Would Have Made the Choice

The 250-year-old "arsenal" city of Detroit was brought into extreme impoverishment by the collapse of the auto/machine-tool industry in size and wage levels, and the national refusal to reverse that collapse, under the Bush and Obama presidencies. Lyndon LaRouche first put forward the policy to revive that industrial base in November 2004; Bush and Felix Rohatyn blocked it; Obama fixed the wage collapse in stone in the 2009 auto bankruptcy/bailout.

But now the most immediate choice in Detroit involves the impact of the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1998.

That choice is as follows: The city emergency manager, bankruptcy lawyer Kevyn Orr, has made an agreement to pay three banks — UBS, Bank of America, and SBS — approximately $$225 million by Nov. 1. This amount equals 15% of Detroit's total annual all-source revenues estimated at $1.49 billion this year, and Orr agreed to do it while defaulting on pension bonds.

This $225 million is not a debt; rather it represents 75% of the "current negative value" (to Detroit) of swaps agreements with those banks on $1.4 billion in 2005 city borrowing. That is, it is a payoff on a LIBOR-rigged derivatives bet that Detroit was conned into making in 2005 by those banks, after borrowing from them. And if the payment is delayed beyond Nov. 1 to a second payment deadline of Mar. 1, 2014, under Orr's agreement it will be 85% of the "current negative value" of the bet, or likely $250 million.

Orr agreed to this derivatives payoff two days before declaring bankruptcy against pensions, retiree health funds, and other general creditors, giving it first priority outside the bankruptcy court.
The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix

#8 DrBubb

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 01:29 AM

Norquist blames government for Sprawl:
+ Highways split neighborhoods
+ Prohibiting Mixed use, forces people to travel long distances, rather that walk
.
VIDEO:

.
Fortunately, "Main Streets" are now returning, as New Urbanist architects have revived this idea. And many Americans really want them, since they want to live in Walkable Neighborhoods.
.
Thank Goodness: America's long love affair with the car may be over. (Previously, if you were a walker, you had to walk in the gutter of many US highways.)
.
Henry Ford was a Demon !
(I say that, even though I was born in Henry Ford Hospital in downtown Detroit.)
The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix

#9 Erewhon888

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 06:11 PM

http://www.tfmetalsr...rumbling-cities

would seem to fit in here.

#10 DrBubb

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 07:33 PM

http://www.tfmetalsr...rumbling-cities
would seem to fit in here.


Yes, it does fit.
Here's a EXCERPT I liked:

II. Dearth of Economic Activity

The poorest city of its size in California; second poorest in the entire United States, next to Detroit. Wow, notoriety in a big way. Almost as poor as Detroit. That is a major understatement. Both filed for Chapter 9 federal bankruptcy protection; yet, both Detroit and San Bernardino are as different as night and day from an economic perspective, and still different from a demographic perspective as well. Not even their states are remotely similar in climate, population, or any of the traditional demographic comparison points. But, still, both are bankrupt. Why these two cities, at this point, now, and not others? Or, are these two cities just harbingers of things to come?

Let's try to unravel the puzzle...
. . .
Then what HAS been constant for 40 years?

What is a solid indicator, then, showing why economic activity has declined steadily over the past 40 years?

Simple: government intrusion (lack of freedom to pursue and engage in productive economic opportunities) coupled with rampant corruption, which has lead rational decision-makers like the normal middle class family to leave the area in search of a better existence. Left behind are those who either cannot leave for economic reasons, who chose to stay for the free govt transfer payments, or others who perhaps just do not think much about it. What is obvious, beyond argument, and that the government intrusion coupled with the corruption leads to decline. There is no other argument that is possible. And what do we know about government intrusion.

Government intrusion is far-reaching and never, ever pulls back save for revolution. Government red-tape and mind-numbing regulations and ordinances have killed business creation. Private business and private jobs create tax revenues. Government jobs and government regulations kill private business and decrease government revenues. Why is that so impossible to articulate or understand by those in power? Umm, simple. Admitting it means that those in charge are hopelessly corrupt. So here we are.

Corruption has poisoned the system from top to bottom, for a generation or more. Corruption has killed a once thriving, vital city like San Bernardino. I have seen this with my own eyes.


== ==

How to kill government corruption?
Make government much smaller, I suppose
The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix

#11 DrBubb

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 12:20 AM

(An important matter that needs fixing - will they use local vigilantes?)

Detroit Citizens take law into their own hands because local police are an epic fail!

Detroit community beats alleged rapist of 15 y.o. girl with Down Syndrome after slow police response
[link to www.wxyz.com]

Link says it all local community had enough!

The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix

#12 DrBubb

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 07:01 AM

Detroit Light Rail - Just a Boondoggle? It depends...



TRAIN TO NOWHERE?
"Seems completely dead on arrival - no one is going to ride a train in a straight shot that they could drive twice as fast."

Have the guy who made that comment been to Detroit?

I was born there, and grew up in the suburbs. Once up a time, I had a job working at the second largest bank in downtown Detroit, and used to commute sometimes by rail, taking a (very slow) commuter train from Birmingham to a station downtown, where I used to walk to my job in the Guardian building.
I think a train straight down Woodward Avenue makes senss, provided:

+ They remove the shackles from business and encourage new businesses to start-up and old ones to expand,
+ That they have a clear plan to DENSIFY along the rail, at the stations, so that people can live Carfree lives (as they do in HK),
+ That the trains runs fast, efficiently, and is safe (as in HK). That will be a challenge in a city with Detroit's weather and crime rate

The worst thing would be to build another People Mover. I reckon the name was meant ironically, since it moves very few people, and it is quicker to walk the short distance it "services."

Detroit needs catalyst to bring itself back to health. The Tarin can be part of that, but without the right policies and planning around it, the project will be a Dead White Elephant.
I believe this project is being privately developed and managed, and so it ghas a chance. The woman from Royal Oak represents a viable (and even thriving) city on the outskirts of Detroit. This could really help here community, and ifd her community uses it, then it has a chnace for success. I wonder if she is ready to allow high rise apartment house to be built in Royal Oak close to the station? That is the sort of thing that will bring success.
The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix

#13 callmejoe

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 05:57 PM

http://www.veteranst...eat-depression/

There are millions and millions of homes in foreclosure and millions and millions more unsold, the only way for this market to proceed is steep discounts. Even now houses for a dollar are spreading, Gary, Indiana has now joined Detroit in offering homes for $1. Yes you can buy a house for a buck! And you can buy whole blocks of houses and become a slum lord. Once people see houses selling for cheap, that changes their minds about what a house is worth. High home ‘values’ is a myth lodged in the brains of brain dead consumers, a house is commodity like any other commodity and its price is set by market forces, oversupply will eventually overwhelm this last vain attempt of the banking system to keep prices high and their balance sheets in the black.

$1 homes in:
Gary, Indiana –


Detroit, Michigan –



Continued below



#14 callmejoe

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 05:58 PM

Investors buying Detroit properties –

Milwaukee, Wisconsin –



continued below



#15 callmejoe

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 05:58 PM

Orange County, California – Buy a house for a $1 and move it –


#16 DrBubb

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 01:17 AM

White-pride group talking about "taking over Detroit"

 

MP3

 

"Property there is dirt cheap... there's an infrastructure"

 

(I wonder what the peaceful black urban farmers would think of this ?)

 

"The blacks will leave on their own, because the Fed, (State, and City) government is disappearing."

"There's going to be no government, no taxpayers."


The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix

#17 DrBubb

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Posted 02 April 2015 - 12:50 AM

IS DETROIT RECOVERING ?

 

It may be possible.  There have been some changes:

 

+ Detroit has gone through bankruptcy

+ There's a new mayor, Mike Duggan

+ Deals are being done, bring jobs to the city... here's one: (from today's Detroit Free Press):

 

ONE TALL ADDITION TO GILBERT EMPIRE

 

Deal for One Detroit Center is major coup for Gilbert, Duggan

 

/watch?v=2awUWDYN-pQ

The purchase price for One Detroit Center was well above $100 million

 

Ally Financial to move 1,300 into Tower

 

Businessman Dan Gilbert said Tuesday he bought the One Detroit Center skyscraper downtown and snagged Ally Financial as a key tenant, a blockbuster deal that expands his downtown Detroit empire.  (*Gilbert now has 45 downtown properties.)

 

Ally plans to move in next spring and will chip in $50 million to help upgrade the 13 floors than it plans to occupy.


The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix

#18 Jake

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Posted 02 April 2015 - 11:30 AM

Why did Detroit become a city in the first place? (honest question I don't know the answer to). It would seem to me that places without a reason to exist today will disappear as simply as they appeared. Well maybe not quite as simply. Destruction is far harder to take than construction.

 

I have seen smaller towns in Japan disintegrate as their reason to be (exist) has disappeared. People still live there clinging to their 'roots' but really if a town is not growing-or maintaining itself doing what it has alays done, then it is simply a matter of time until the weeds win out.

 

Maybe Detroit will revert to what it was before the automobile industry. In fact I think a lot of places will revert to whatever their reason to be was. ie a major city which was once simply a fishing port will become a simple fishing port again.. Towns built up by a river running through it will revert to becoming a natural place to do agriculture and wash ones clothes.

 

Good places will be natural, old market towns which have provided, wey hey, a market for outlying villages. They will be defined by their geography, topography, walkability, transport etc...

 

So about 150 years ago what was Detroit?


"We are reaping what has been sown over the last three decades of creating a grotesquely unequal society with an ethos of grab as much as you can by any means. A society of looters created by MPs and their expenses, bankers and their bonuses, tax-evading corporations, hacking journalists, bribe-taking police officers, and now a group of alienated kids are seizing their chance. This is not to condone but to understand." - John McDonnell MP


"Things got a bit out of hand & we'd had a few drinks. We smashed the place up and Boris set fire to the toilets."
David Cameron, 7th June 1986.

#19 DrBubb

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Posted 02 April 2015 - 06:46 PM

Why did Detroit emerge as a center for Autos?

 

Well, Henry Ford had his bicycle shop there, and that's where he created the Model-T

 

The city also has a decent Port, with an outlet into the Great Lakes.

Around the Great Lakes are iron ore deposits, so moving the raw materials from the Mines to the Steel factor was easy by ship.

 

Later, rail connections were put in place, and those still mostly exists.

 

Cars both made and destroyed Detroit.

The city made a decision to discontinue its troll lines, and pull up some of the commuter rail lines.

For some years, people raced down specially built highways to get to the city center from the suburbs.

But those same highways, cut the city into shreds, and destroyed some neighborhoods and cut others off.

 

When white flight came in the 1960's, the poorer blacks were left in the City, with whites fleeing to "the Lily White" suburbs.

That was still functionally alright until, the jobs began to be shed, and so the City became an unsustainable mess of poor people,

led by some politicians only interested in exploiting their positions for financial gain - An honest black mayor, Dave Bing,

came too late to save the city.

 

Now it has shrunk down to a level where there is much cheap infrastructure and old buildings that can be acquired

below replacement value.  If companies and jobs can be brought back in, the city has a chance.  But it will not be easy,

since much of the housing stock is abandoned and deteriorating.

 

Compare Detroit, with and approx. 20% Housing Vacancy Rate:

UShse-NYCplus_zps8493be0d.png

 

With Philadelphia, where the vacancy rate is under 5%

 

Perhaps a smaller Detroit, with fewer poor people to feed, may rediscover its roots as a creative

and inventive place.

 

(Today, I was speaking to my nephew who was educated at University of Detroit as an architect.

He now works for the largest architectural firm in the world, which is based in California.

He has become optimistic about Detroit's future.  Its cheapness is an advantage.  And he sees

it as a sort of "blank canvas" where people will experiment.)


The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix

#20 Jake

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Posted 02 April 2015 - 11:06 PM

"cars both made and destroyed Detroit"

Insightful comment. Detroit sounds like a model for many places, yet unique also. Whatever happens if is going to be a lot smaller. Maybe they can reinvent the bicycle industry again?
Too many poor, desperate people by the sound of it. And the weather...
Salvage as many beautiful homes as possible, move them to other parts using the big roads.
Or offer the city to retiring aliens and their spaceships can race along those expressways. Just don't waste any more money trying to do a makeover. The guy buying the downtown skyscrapers must be seriously rich and delusional. He should tune into JHK and smell the coffee.
And for the rest of humanity, Detroit should remain a museum piece of how not to live.
"We are reaping what has been sown over the last three decades of creating a grotesquely unequal society with an ethos of grab as much as you can by any means. A society of looters created by MPs and their expenses, bankers and their bonuses, tax-evading corporations, hacking journalists, bribe-taking police officers, and now a group of alienated kids are seizing their chance. This is not to condone but to understand." - John McDonnell MP


"Things got a bit out of hand & we'd had a few drinks. We smashed the place up and Boris set fire to the toilets."
David Cameron, 7th June 1986.




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