Community | Entrepreneurship | Features | Opinion

Rebirth of Detroit - and herculean challenges ahead

We’ve been ruminating over here at DVoice for some time on Detroit’s potential to rebound. Signs of progress are around us, but no one denies the massive challenges that lie ahead if the city is to truly become all that it could be — a thriving, world-class destination for businesses, families, visitors and new ideas.

Much of the conversation regarding Detroit’s revitalization hinges on the capability of Millenials to transform the city’s dusty core into something usable.

Peter Cummings, long-time Detroit developer and philanthropist

Peter Cummings, long-time Detroit developer and philanthropist

In that vein, we thought this piece by long-time Detroit developer and philanthropist Peter Cummings was worth posting.

Some excerpts really hit home for those immersed in the day-to-day challenges those living, working or seeking recreation in Detroit:

“So the stars have aligned and the city is fielding a team of long-ball hitters. Why then is the future only partly bright? Where do the clouds come from? For all the good news, the challenges that remain are herculean. The public school system continues to spiral downward. Almost one third of all property parcels within the city are owned by the city itself. Tens of thousands of abandoned and derelict structures need to be demolished. Overcoming these obstacles will require the same kind of creativity and courage that resolved the bankruptcy… and not for just 17 months, but day in and day out, for the next decade and beyond. …

There is only one Dan Gilbert, but there are thousands of young, creative millennials for whom Detroit is becoming a mecca. Our challenge in the city is to continue to attract them, to make sure the jobs are there, the housing is there and that a sense of security and a widening range of services will keep them there. Mayor Duggan announced after his election that he would measure his success by one key index: has the population stopped declining.”

We hope you enjoy Peter’s thoughts as much as we did. If you have comments or replies, feel free to send them to us at kbuss@detroitnews.com. Community input is essential to this process, and we value your feedback.

The article is reprinted with the permission of Stay Thirsty Media.

Kaitlyn Buss

Kaitlyn Buss is editorial page writer for The Detroit News. Prior to joining the News, she lived in Washington, D.C., where she worked in public relations, opinion writing, and ran communications for an association of state legislators. She’s a native of Metro Detroit. Follow her @KaitlynBuss.