Green Zone- when leaving the consulate, various office
buildings, or your secure hotel- exercise extreme caution in
your movements to minimize exposure time to local elements that
would do you harm. Outside the 1-mile circle surrounding the
city centre, DO NOT expect real-time responsiveness from any
government agency during an emergency."
But we're not
in Baghdad or Benghazi... we're in the heart of the American
Midwest. We are in downtown Detroit. We are also in
ZOMBIELAND according to the post-apocalyptic message stenciled
on the top floor of a derelict high-rise hotel in a surreal
Midtown wasteland. A wasteland that has been slowly emptied of
official city residents to make way for the new home of the
Redwings hockey franchise.
future generations of Michigan residents will undoubtedly
continue their animated discussion about how and why
Detroit and her environs have free-fallen into ruin. What now
appears lacking -is strong leadership on how to save the city
(from itself) now that more than 60% of its citizens have fled
its confines from its population peak in 1950.
In real numbers
-it's terrifyingly staggering. Detroit's population has dropped
from 1.85 million (1950) to 951,000 (2000) to 721,000 in 2010!
Current population counts (2013) have pushed the number to under
There are an
estimated 89,000 abandoned buildings in this city. Approximately
40-square miles of abandoned structure and empty lots! And the
exodus appears to continue unabated despite lofty words
regarding revitalization and urban renewal promised by
successive generations of federal, state, and local governments.
Only time will
tell whether Detroit can truly renew and rebuild itself. We wish
the resilient inhabitants of this great American city - the best
in their endeavours.