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January 6th, 2010
The Next American System
[VIDEO] Detroit Town Hall

From Detroit Public Television (DPTV) — Detroit’s transportation future plays a starring role in Blueprint America: Beyond the Motor City. DPTV and the Kresge Foundation recently hosted a screening and panel discussion at the Detroit Public Library. In this video: Rich Homberg (DPTV), Rip Rapson (Kresge Foundation), Aaron Woolf (Beyond the Motor City producer)

A panel discussion with Richard Baron, Matthew Cullen and Toni Griffin, moderated by Blueprint America correspondent Miles O’Brien. And closing comments by Rip Rapson from the Kresge Foundation.

  • Paul Kelley

    I am amazed and saddened by how poorly the panelists, which otherwise I enjoyed listening to, handled the final question by the audience member – they just didn’t get it. Unbelievable! I don’t think they even understood it. People with disabilities and many of those who don’t have regular jobs to go to wake up wanting to do something. There are empty lots, abandoned homes, and transportation corridors begging to be cleaned up, transformed into gardens, and all that takes is a group of people, their hands, and some tools. It doesn’t take wallets or government projects or deep thinking – it just takes someone with authority to form a group and get some resources together, like a shuttle bus and hand tools and a first aid kit, and let people who want to get things going get started on their own projects – a kind of informal CCC. They work with what is right there around them – their neighborhoods, their streets, their lots, and by doing so, they regain dignity and a sense of accomplishment, and that translates to their neighborhoods and the others living there. It doesn’t even have to do with philanthropic organizations or committee meetings or infrastructure projects. It just has to do with people making use of what they have – their physical labor and desire to work – and applying it to what’s already around them – empty lots, abandoned homes, unused corridors. Its amazing what a difference reclaiming depressing landscapes can make. And it doesn’t take a huge amount of thought and official bureaucracy to get started.

  • Craig

    I grew up in Grosse Point Park 1961-70, and I object to the idea that better urban transport is the answer. Detroiters voted into office a series of bad mayors and I’ve followed them, to my dismay. Why does anyone believe that better transport will result in economic activity if the jobs aren’t there? Revive the economy based on cheap labor, and the renaissance will follow.

  • Dave

    Sorry, but I had to turn this otherwise compelling program off. The electronic drumbeat in the background sound track was intolerably irritating to me.

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