Detroit initial Reflections

by James Fawcett April 12, 2015 A

So we have been in the USA for less than 24 hours and completed 219 miles in the car which feels particularly appropriate in Michigan, and particularly Detroit and Flint this area is completely shaped by it’s industry, like most urban areas in the world.

One of the main thoroughfares in to Detroit is called Woodward Avenue which is an 8 lane major road (highlighting the shaping of a city because it’s industry) that has the high rise city buildings on the horizon. It is 27 miles into the centre along its length. It is intersected by lots of different roads as it leads into the centre of Detroit; Woodward is marked in particular by mile roads, which progressively count down to the centre of Detroit.

Fun Fact: for those interested 8 Mile (the film) about the life of Eminen is set around 8 mile this is where Eminen was born and raised.

It was very interesting to watch how the city changes as you drive from around mile 20 – 1. From 21ish – 14/13 there is wealth; this is on a par with the West End of London (Richmond/Twickenham) pockets of deprivation but a presentation of wealth, shops, cars and service based industries. As you continue from miles 13 – 4, it changes considerably, one thing you notice is there is more people – people crossing the 8 lane road, people standing around, cyclists. The buildings drastically change, there are a lot of derelict house, factories and shops, larger open spaces of demolished factories and housing. Between 8 – 4 there seemed to be a lot of churches – I’m currently not sure why, I may come back to this! There seems to be less cars parked here aswell.

Miles 4 – 0 is much more like the centre of a large city, anywhere in the world (certainly from the outside) large glass skyscrapers, restaurants and shops which eventually leads to the river. We left the centre from a different road and quickly entered (within 2 miles) to more ‘rundown’ areas.

More to come….

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