Map: Downtown Detroit Population Loss since 1900


The recent population gains Downtown and the increased purchasing, speculation, and construction are a divergence from Detroit’s past. The Downtown area was losing population as far back as 1900 largely due to the number of factories creating polluted air and water. As Detroit continued to expand outward, Downtown didn’t see a resurgence until the 1950-60s era of “urban renewal” which saw rampant inequality put to use for urban planning gains for limited success.

In the current Downtown redevelopment, a different strategy must be employed if we are to avoid the failings of the past. Perhaps if Downtown is so important then investments will be made to more easily allow the whole city and region to enjoy and benefit from its redevelopment?

Source: “Emergence and Growth of an Urban Region – The Developing Urban Detroit Area, Vol. 3”, Doxiadis Associates, Wayne State University and The Detroit Edison Company, 1970

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