Some houses, of course, are beyond help. But is demolition the answer? And who will be helped by it?
For those who missed it last week, another great piece in the Guardian by Rose Hackman
, who is apparently one of the few reporters working in Detroit who is skeptical about demolition as a solution to the city's problems. In it, she quotes several academics who have some stimulating arguments with conventional wisdom. She quotes Wayne State University professor Peter J. Hammer (whom we've interviewed before
) as saying current anti-blight efforts are “myopically focused on destroying buildings,” and that he wishes "city officials would go after racism with the same manic intensity as they are going after blight.” Also in her piece, WSU's George Galster criticizes the way officials focus on knocking down houses instead of tackling the root causes, "such as a deregulated housing market in the broader Michigan region that has seen the construction of 10,000 excess houses a year since the 1950s, helping to drive people out of Detroit and into the suburbs."