If you already know what you think about Detroit, Bill Morris's stories in Popular Mechanics will surprise you. The headline on one is "Detroit 2025: After the Recession, a City Reimagined," and the subhed reads, "Detroit's comeback is not only inevitable, it's already underway. Popular Mechanics envisions the bright future of the great American city." It's one of a series under the "Detroit 2025" rubric.
These are not the usual kinds of Detroit stories, which are typically about clearing vacant homes, the auto bailout, or, occasionally, the Phoenix rising from the ashes. Nor does it paint the bleak future depicted in the recent documentary Detropia. Instead, Morris takes a serious and hard-headed look at a possible future for Detroit that would make it a leader in urban development, not a symbol of urban decay.
I'm from Detroit, and I'm irrationally attached to the idea that it will come back, whether the facts support that or not. But Morris's stories make it seem more likely than even I dared to think. He talks about unearthing rivers that now disappear into conduits underneath shuttered auto plants, about planting "feral forests," building alternative energy generating capacity, urban farming, and other ideas that would make Detroit "a blank canvas on which to paint a new urban model."
Morris backs up this optimistic view with reporting--this is not an exercise in what might happen. As the subhed promised, some of it is happening already. It's worth a look, whether you happen to be from Detroit or not.