The city of Detroit in Michigan developed from a French fort and a missionary outpost which was founded in 1701 to become one of the largest American cities. Detroit has been governed by three world powers which include Great Britain, France and the United States (Braisdel, 1884). Detroit city is one of the oldest cities in the Midwest. During the 19th century, Detroit grew to be one of the thriving hubs of industry and commerce. It was characterized by multiple manufacturing firms which took the advantage of the cheap and affordable transportation offered by the river and a parallel rail line.
Following the World War II, Detroit emerged as a global business center. The metropolitan area became one of the largest in the United States. The Detroit area is the 2nd largest United State metropolitan area and links the great lakes system. Migrants and immigrants have contributed significantly to the development of Detroit’s economy and culture. In 1990’s, the city experienced an increase in urbanization.
The city name “Detroit” comes from the word Detroit River translated in French. The first settlement in Detroit was founded by a French officer Antoine de La Mothe Cadillac together with 51 other French-Canadians. The settlement was called Fort Ponchartrain du Detroit. France attracted families to Detroit by giving out free land.
There are many factors which led to the development of the city. First, after the French military commanders surrendered the fort to the British the region had already developed as an important region for fur trade. From 1805-1847, Detroit was the capital of Michigan. This led to the expansion of the city. The city layout plan was developed by Augustus B. Woodward. Due to its access to the Canadian border, it was a key stopping point along the Underground Railroad. (Darby, 1819)
The city of Detroit is known to be the home of many lieutenants such as Ulysses S. Grant, who later became the president of America. Many mansions and buildings in the city arose in the 19th and 20th century. In fact, the city was referred as the Paris of the West because of its architecture. Because of its strategic location along the Great Lakes waterways, it emerged as a major transportation hub. The major contributor to its growth is the shipping, shipbuilding and manufacturing industries (Braisdel, 1884). The industries included the Ford Motor company, Packard and Walter Chrysler. All this contributed to the reinforcement of Detroit’s status as a world automotive capital. Due to this development, the city became a major tourist destination. This enhanced the economy of United States. It also attracted hundreds of thousands of workers from all over the world.
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Disarray in Detroit city can be attributed to many things. One of the causes is the race riots, which in 1940’s had raged out of control. This riot was sparked by the fight between African Americans and the whites. The war led to the migrants filling positions in factory jobs which had been left vacant (Poremba, 1999). Many arrivals swelled into the city both the whites and the blacks. The new workers led to the development of a racial antipathy between the blacks and the whites. This aggravated the already worsened condition for Detroit’s African American population. There was an increase in housing crisis which was characterized by excessive segregation and intolerable living conditions. The disarray led to a sequence of problems. Many industries were closed and the few ones which were operational had acute parts shortage.
There are many plans underway in revitalizing the Detroit city. Some of these plans have already been implemented while others are under way. As earlier mentioned, Detroit city is one of the major tourist destination in the world. Therefore, in its’ revitalization the government has to put in mind the tourism industry because of its economic contribution. Though, if you think of a tourist hot spot, Detroit might not come into your mind, the city leaders are striving to change this perception. For instance, in order to increase the number of tourists visiting Detroit, a 10 year plan had been developed to improve the motor city area (Poremba, 1999). The strategy suggests the construction of an aquarium on the Detroit River. Also, it encourages the construction of a new Motown museum, a gondola between Windsor and Detroit and a conference center in Troy. Another goal of the plan is to improve and expand the already existing tourist draws such as the Cobo Hall.
Construction of sports stadium in Detroit is a good idea. Construction of such an international sport stadium will create a new perception of Detroit City on a global scale. This will put the city in a better position to bid for Olympic Games. This will provide an important and tangible benefit to the city.
The Hart Plaza lies immediately on the south of the intersection of Jefferson and Woodward Avenues. It is the focal point for public demonstrations and festivals of all kinds. Due to the festivals done in the Hart Plaza it has been a major tourist attraction in Detroit and therefore, it has more benefits to Detroit.
The North American International Auto Show, which is held annually in the month of January, is the largest auto shows in North America. The Auto show is very important because the global automotive community is able to come together and catch up the latest news and events. Peoples are able to join their peers from all over the world at this most substantive annual event. In addition, people get access to the most eagerly anticipated new vehicles and interacts with the industry’s top thinkers and leaders from all over the hemisphere. Therefore, the auto should be promoted in order to attract more people because of its importance in innovation development.
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A new Detroit River International Crossing is significant and should be taken as a very important undertaking. Its importance can be seen if you look at the importance of the Windsor-Detroit land border crossing in the northern America. The Windsor-Detroit is considered to be the busiest commercial land border. In fact, almost half of the trade between Canada and North America crosses the frontier between Ontario and Michigan. The most important fact to note is that more than 8 million jobs, for which 230,000 are in Michigan alone, depend entirely on the trade with Canada (Darby, 1819. These jobs are export related. Therefore, in order to encourage this trading between the two nations another bridge is important because the existing one is already being overworked. Clearly, there is an economic imperative for both Canada and Michigan to ensure that another bridge is constructed. The bridge will have both short and long term benefits. For long term benefits, the new bridge will be vital in securing jobs and commerce in the communities across Michigan.
Recently the Detroit City officials have been proposing an increase in the user fees and other revenue generators at the historic Belle Isle Park. Paying for Belle Isle Park would be beneficial not only to the park but also to those who pay that money. First, the funds which could be raised by charging peoples would be used for the maintenance, security and cleaning the park. On the other hand, charging a fee would also be associated with some negative effects. Charging a fee would reduce to some degree, the number of tourists visiting the park.
In conclusion, Detroit is one of the cities that have been and has a greater potential to develop. Its population has been escalating at a high rate with many immigrants. It is a critical commercial link which should be maintained and looked after carefully. It has good infrastructural facilities such as dozens of major hospitals, transportation, air and the mass transit.