While a new, more positive narrative about Detroit is welcome, there are problems in focusing entirely on idealistic young adventurers swooping in to save the city -- it reinforces the stereotype of native Detroiters as hapless, helpless and hopeless.
While the rebounding downtown and Midtown districts fit the usual pattern of urban progress-established institutions and developers guiding most of the changes -- other parts of town are following a different playbook for revitalization.
Signs suggest Anacostia is next in line for resurrection. The vestiges of economic blight -- unkempt liquor stores and condemned buildings -- are slowly vanishing as startup businesses, art galleries and new restaurants take their place.
After seeing the devastation caused by the foreclosure crisis, I wanted to find an action-based and citizen-led antidote to vacant properties and blight-ridden landscapes. I believe that change roots in community.
Rocco Landsman, Chair of the NEA, has put together a national organization dedicated to building creative places in cities around the country, demonstrating the vital link between the arts and economic development.
"New Markets" encourages private investments from corporations and individuals who might never consider buying into "high-risk areas." The cost to taxpayers have created nearly 500,000 jobs at a cost of less than $12,000 each.