Bailing on Detroit

cities@manchester

Jamie Peck, Department of Geograpy, UBC and Honorary Professor at SEED, University of Manchester, continues his analysis of the on-going restructuring of Detroit and its wider significance for the future of US cities.

Detroit is about to enter a new phase, in its protracted state of financial emergency.  The city’s Emergency Manager, Kevyn Orr—who was appointed by Michigan’s Republican Governor in March 2013, following the breakdown of a so-called “consent agreement” with the state, en route to a long-anticipated declaration of municipal bankruptcy—will soon publish his “plan of adjustment.”  This will spell out the details of what will be tantamount to a court-administered structural adjustment of Detroit, implemented by an unelected financial technocrat whose far-reaching powers trump practically all of those of the city’s elected officials, including the Mayor.  It will set the Motor City on a new path, doubtless based on some inventive (but at the same time…

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