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Outside the Box: That Detroit recovery? In some ways, the city is worse off than in 2010

After decades of demographic and economic decline, culminating in America’s largest municipal bankruptcy in 2013, many observers were ready to proclaim that the city of Detroit was dead. But over the past several years, following successful resolution of the bankruptcy and the emergence of new municipal leadership, views have changed.

Now academics and the popular press are documenting Detroit’s recovery and resilience. But does this positive image of Detroit reflect reality? Will the recovery culminate in a new Detroit that will provide all residents with a quality of life that is sustainable in the decades to come?

These rosy descriptions weren’t consistent with the reality of what we continued to see in many Detroit neighborhoods.

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