The Revitalization of Detroit
A remarkable story of bankruptcy and revitalization, the city of Detroit is making a comeback. Mike Duggan, the city’s mayor; Dan Gilbert, founder of Detroit-based Quicken Loans and majority owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers; and Carla Walker-Miller, a graduate of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program in Detroit, discuss job creation, economic growth and the movement to improve neighborhoods across America’s Motor City.
Mayor Duggan, on the city’s effort to bring residents back to Detroit: “We’ve gone in and fixed a lot of boring details, but now we’re almost the national standard on police response time. We are a national standard of ambulance response time. We cut the grass in the parks every seven to ten days. And when those things started to happen, people stayed. The exodus stopped. And with all that’s happening in the downtown area with millennials moving in, we’ve created a level of momentum that I haven’t seen in my lifetime.”
Gilbert, on strategically rebuilding the city’s infrastructure: “400,000 single family homes were built in Detroit from 1900 to 1950. We had very little in the way of high-rise living, and so we ran out of space for the next generation of factories that had huge amounts of acreage – the jobs moved out. Shopping malls moved out. Detroit was not poised to take advantage. We’re now being very conscious of that, and we’ve got major companies coming back to the city.”
Walker-Miller, on black women as a rising group of entrepreneurs in Detroit: “Black women are the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs. We’re also the most successful, as far as creating a Detroit that’s open to everyone.”