Alternative tourism destinations: Detroit USA

[for English version scroll down below photos]

Detroit , fata de restul destinatiilor alternative prezentate pe blog poate ca nu pare asa special , dar in realitate Detroit este intr-adevar un oras special si foarte diferit de restul Americii , un  experiment esuat  urias de natura  urbanistica , industriala si sociala. Experimentul a inceput in anii 40 catre 50 cand  America detinea monopolul constructiilor auto (cea germana  si japoneza se recuperau cu greu de dupa razboi) iar Detroit era unul din cele mai prospere orase din lume , si s-a inceput contructia autostrazilor urbane , pentru a facilita integrarea comunitatilor din afara orasului. Lumea avand bani si vrand conditii mai bune de locuit , a plecat din orasul aglomerat si zgomotos catre cartierele noi de case suburbane , unde isi puteau etala fericirea si creste familia  in casa propie la liniste. Acest fenomen incurajat de accesul facil al autostrazilor urbane proaspat construite dar mai ales de gigantii auto (trioul GM , Chrysler si Ford) ce domina economia orasului , acestia incurajand constant lumea sa se mute in afara orasului in comunitatile izolate de unde sunt obligati sa faca naveta cu masini noi cumparate de la ei, iar in lipsa transportului in comun deseori o familie s-a vazut nevoita sa achizitioneze 2 sau 3 masini pentru a se deplasa , benzina fiind la un nivel record  scazut. Toti acesti factori au declansat un exod masiv al populatiei din oras , iar in timp efectele au inceput sa aibe reactii adverse. Autostrazile invechite nu au mai putut face fata traficului masiv auto , ambuteiajele constante cauzand multa nefericire navetistilor , iar ca rezultat  oamenii  pur si simplu au inceput sa isi caute locuri de munca mai apropiate , sa isi faca cumparaturile si sa isi faca afacerile mai aproape de casa. Afaceristii observand fenomenul , nu le-a luat mult pana au inceput sa isi mute magazinele , mallurile  , bancile si birourile in localitatile aferente aproape de lumea cu bani , lasand in urma un Detroit din ce in ce mai gol. Lovitura finala a venit mai tarziu in urma crizelor petroliere si financiare cand gigantii auto au inceput sa scartaie , nemai putand face fata concurentei din afara   si s-au vazut nevoiti sa inchida sau sa reduca multe din fabricile  auto ale orasului , lasand sute de mii de oameni fara loc de munca , majoritatea de culoare. Rata crimelor din oras , deja mare a crescut exponential speriind si ultimele grupuri de oameni buni afara din oras.

Astazi Detroit mai are doar 700.000 de locuitori , cu 60% mai putin decat varful de 1,8 milioane din 1950 , jumate din populatie fiind disparuta in perioada 2000-2010. Iar primaria in lipsa unei baze de taxare , s-a vazut nevoita sa reduca masiv din bugetele de educatie , curatenie , si mai ales de siguranta publica. Orasul acum este unul dintre cele mai bizare din America si din lume , fiind plin de structuri parasite  si goale , cartiere intregi abandonate , zgarie nori goli ce isi asteapta chiriasi noi de ani de zile , spitale , licee , teatre ,biserici  gari feroviare si structuri masive complet abandonate ce amintesc de vremurile bune ale orasului . O simpla plimbare prin oras chiar si in centru si se poate observa cat de goale sunt strazile , bulevardele late fiind cu greu umplute de masini.  In Iulie 2013  orasul a declarat faliment si viitorul este nesigur , dar dupa cum istoria a dovedit , pe cat de repede a cazut pe atat de repede isi poate reveni . Un adevarat paradis al fotografilor si exploratorilor urbani , unde din fericire ziua inca te poti plimba linistit pe strada. Orasul are si parti frumoase , zone reabilitate de primarie in efortul de a curata imaginea orasului , dar drumul este lung.  Enjoy the pics.

abandoned theatre

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Theatre converted in to public parking

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Empty streets

 

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Detroit skyline 4 061311

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Abandoned neighborhood

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Michigan abandoned central rail way station

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Abandoned skyscraper – 81 levels

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Abandoned factories

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I also recommend the documentaries “Requiem for Detroit” or “Redefining Dreamland” available online for free

Others Alternative tourism: Georgia , Burning gate of Turkmenistan , North Korea , Pripyat & the alienation zone   , Nouadhibou graveyard

Alte orase din cealalta jumatate / How the other half lives : KarachiGuayaquil  , Lagos

Vezi alte calatorii / other trips : Singapore 2013Brasov 02.2014 , Istanbul 01.2014 , Cluj Napoca 08.2013 , Sibiu 07.2013San Pedro , Bucharest 2013 , Varna 2012 , Los Angeles 2012 , Budapest & Viena , Salerno , Cluj Napoca 2012 , Firenze , Brasov 02.2012 , Amsterdam , Antofagasta , Valencia , Lima , Bremen , Istanbul 2009 , Valletta , San Juan , Barcelona , Singapore 2010 , Los Angeles 2010 , Transilvania road trip , La Spezia , Bosphor by ship , Sydney , Melborune , AucklandSan FranciscoTauranga

[English version]

Detroit , compared to the rest of  my alternative destinations  on the  blog , it might not seem so special , but in fact Detroit is truly a special city and very different from the rest of America , a huge failed experiment of   urban, industrial and social nature . The experiment started in the 40’s to 50’s  when America owned  a car building monopoly ( the German and Japanese auto industries were slowly recovering after the war ) and Detroit was one of the most prosperous cities in the world , and began construction of it’s urban highways to facilitate integration with the communities outside the city . People with money who wanted better living conditions , left the crowded and noisy city neighborhoods in favor to the new suburban homes , where they could display their happiness in their own house in a calm area . This phenomenon encouraged by the easy access of the newly built  urban highways and especially  by the auto giants ( Trio GM, Chrysler and Ford ) that dominates the city’s economy , who were constantly encouraging people to move out of town in to the isolated communities where they are forced to commute using newly bought cars from them  , and in the absence of public transportation often a family was forced to purchase 2 or 3 cars to travel , gasoline prices were at a record low. All these factors triggered a massive exodus of population from the city , and in time  the effects are beginning to have side effects. Obsolete highways could not handle the massive auto traffic , constant traffic jams causing much misery for commuters and as a result people have simply started to look for  jobs closer , do their shopping and make their businesses closer to home . Businessmen noting the phenomenon did not take long until they began to move their shops , malls , banks and offices in the near towns closer to the people, leaving behind a Detroit increasingly empty. The final blow came later after the financial crisis when the auto giants have started to squeak , no longer being able to face the foreighn competition  and were forced to close or reduce many of the auto factories of the city , leaving hundreds of thousands of people without job. Crime rate in the city which was already big has grown exponentially , scaring  even more  groups of people out of town .

Detroit today has only 700,000 inhabitants, 60 % lower than the 1950 peak of 1.8 million , half of the population is extinct in the period 2000-2010 . And the city hall in the absence of  a large tax base , was forced to slash education budgets , cleaning, and especially public safety budgets . The city is now one of the most bizarre of America and the world ,  is full of abandoned structures and  entire neighborhoods stand empty, empty  abandoned skyscrapers  that awaits new tenants for years, empty hospitals, schools , theaters , churches, railway stations and massive abandoned structures   altogether reminiscent of the good old days of the city. A simple walk through the city center and even you can notice how empty the streets are  , wide boulevards are rarely filled with cars . In July 2013 the city declared bankruptcy and the future is uncertain , but as history has proven , as quickly as it fell quickly , it can also rise . A paradise for photographers and urban explorers . Some parts of the city are nice , the city  hall rehabilitated some central areas in an effort to clean the city’s image , but the road is long. Enjoy the pics (not mine).

 


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