The popular image of modern Detroit is that of the failed, desolate city. This three-part documentary, however, shows the flipside of that. All the interesting and exciting new uses of the old buildings, led by the people who live there - people who've stayed with the city after boom turned to bust, and also those who have moved to the city because they can see the potential it offers.
The other two parts are available at the Detroit exploration page on the Palladium Boots website.
I think there's a lot that Liverpool could take from what's happening in Detroit. There are already similarities and the beginnings of a similar ground-up renaissance happening here, but I wonder how we help it break out of the city centre and spread to districts like Kensington or Anfield.
I want to pull out a couple of quotes from the documentary, because I think they sum up the ideas perfectly.
First off, from Phil Cooley, who mirrors a lot of the reasons why I moved back to Liverpool:
"If I moved to New York I have no say in what happens in that city... and that's a ship you can't steer. If I'm here and I give a damn and I actually go out and I'm part of the community I can actually do something and make a difference in Detroit."
And then a quote from one of the members (unfortunately I didn't catch her name) of the Detroit hackerspace - OmniCorpDetroit. I couldn't put it better:
"Detroit... doesn't need any saviours... people get the idea that you need a huge chainstore or sports team or something to come in here and, y'know, be the proverbial game changer. We don't need that here, we need entrepreneurs, artists, do-it-yourselfers, thinkers. Detroit's always been a culture of making. We want to keep that alive."