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|— City —|
|Nickname(s): The Motor City, Motown, Renaissance City, The D, Hockeytown, Rock City|
|Motto: "Speramus Meliora; Resurget Cineribus"
(Latin for, "We Hope For Better Things; It Shall Rise From the Ashes")
|• Mayor||Dave Bing ( D)|
|• City Council|
|• City||143.0 sq mi (370 km2)|
|• Land||138.8 sq mi (359 km2)|
|• Water||4.2 sq mi (11 km2)|
|• Urban||1,295 sq mi (3,350 km2)|
|• Metro||3,913 sq mi (10,130 km2)|
|Elevation||600 ft (200 m)|
|• Rank||11th in U.S.|
|• Density||6,400/sq mi ( 2,500/km2)|
|Time zone||EST ( UTC-5)|
|• Summer ( DST)||EDT ( UTC-4)|
|FIPS code||26-22000 .|
|GNIS feature ID||1617959|
|Major airport||Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW)|
Detroit (pronounced /dɨˈtrɔɪt/) is the largest city in the U.S. state of Michigan and the seat of Wayne County. Detroit is a major port city on the Detroit River, in the Midwest region of the United States. It was founded on July 24, 1701, by the Frenchman Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac. Its name originates from the French word détroit (pronounced: [detʁwa]) for strait, in reference to its location on the river connecting the Great Lakes.
Known as the world's traditional automotive centre, "Detroit" is a metonym for the American automobile industry and an important source of popular music legacies celebrated by the city's two familiar nicknames, the Motor City and Motown. Other nicknames emerged in the twentieth century, including City of Champions beginning in the 1930s for its successes in individual and team sport, Arsenal of Democracy (during World War II), The D, D-Town, Hockeytown (a trademark owned by the city's NHL club, the Red Wings), Rock City (after the Kiss song " Detroit Rock City"), and The 3-1-3 (its telephone area code).
In 2009, Detroit ranked as the United States' eleventh most populous city, with 910,920 residents. At its peak in 1950, the city was the fifth-largest in the USA, but has since seen a major shift in its population to the suburbs.
The name Detroit sometimes refers to the Metro Detroit area, a sprawling region with a population of 4,403,437 for the Metropolitan Statistical Area, making it the USA's eleventh-largest, and a population of 5,327,764 for the nine-county Combined Statistical Area as of the 2009 Census Bureau estimates. The Detroit–Windsor area, a critical commercial link straddling the Canada–U.S. border, has a total population of about 5,700,000.
The city name comes from the Detroit River (French: le détroit du Lac Érié), meaning the strait of Lake Erie, linking Lake Huron and Lake Erie; in the historical context, the strait included Lake St. Clair and the St. Clair River. Traveling up the Detroit River on the ship Le Griffon (owned by Cavelier de La Salle), Father Louis Hennepin noted the north bank of the river as an ideal location for a settlement.
There, in 1701, the French officer Antoine de La Mothe Cadillac, along with fifty-one additional French-Canadians, founded a settlement called Fort Ponchartrain du Détroit, naming it after the comte de Pontchartrain, Minister of Marine under Louis XIV. France offered free land to attract families to Detroit, which grew to 800 people in 1765, the largest city between Montreal and New Orleans.
François Marie Picoté, sieur de Belestre (Montreal 1719–1793) was the last French military commander at Fort Detroit (1758–1760), surrendering the fort on November 29, 1760 to the British. The region's fur trade was an important economic activity. Detroit's city flag reflects this French heritage. (See Flag of Detroit, Michigan).
During the French and Indian War (1760), British troops gained control and shortened the name to Detroit. Several tribes led by Chief Pontiac, an Ottawa leader, launched Pontiac's Rebellion (1763), including a siege of Fort Detroit. Partially in response to this, the British Royal Proclamation of 1763 included restrictions on white settlement in unceded Indian territories. Detroit passed to the United States under the Jay Treaty (1796). In 1805, fire destroyed most of the settlement. A river warehouse and brick chimneys of the wooden homes were the sole structures to survive.
From 1805 to 1847, Detroit was the capital of Michigan. As the city expanded, the street layout plan developed by Augustus B. Woodward, Chief Justice of the Michigan Territory was followed. Detroit fell to British troops during the War of 1812 in the Siege of Detroit, was recaptured by the United States in 1813 and incorporated as a city in 1815.
Prior to the American Civil War, the city's access to the Canadian border made it a key stop along the underground railroad. Then a Lieutenant, the future president Ulysses S. Grant was stationed in the city. His dwelling is still at the Michigan State Fairgrounds. Because of this local sentiment, many Detroiters volunteered to fight during the American Civil War, including the 24th Michigan Infantry Regiment (part of the legendary Iron Brigade) which fought with distinction and suffered 82% casualties at Gettysburg in 1863. Abraham Lincoln is quoted as saying Thank God for Michigan! Following the death of President Abraham Lincoln, George Armstrong Custer delivered a eulogy to the thousands gathered near Campus Martius Park. Custer led the Michigan Brigade during the American Civil War and called them the Wolverines.
During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many of the city's Gilded Age mansions and buildings arose. Detroit was referred to as the Paris of the West for its architecture, and for Washington Boulevard, recently electrified by Thomas Edison. Strategically located along the Great Lakes waterway, Detroit emerged as a transportation hub. The city had grown steadily from the 1830s with the rise of shipping, shipbuilding, and manufacturing industries. In 1896, a thriving carriage trade prompted Henry Ford to build his first automobile in a rented workshop on Mack Avenue.
In 1903 Ford founded the Ford Motor Company. Ford's manufacturing—and those of automotive pioneers William C. Durant, the Dodge brothers, Packard, and Walter Chrysler—reinforced Detroit's status as the world's automotive capital; it also served to encourage truck manufacturers such as Rapid and Grabowsky.
With the introduction of Prohibition, smugglers used the river as a major conduit for Canadian spirits, organized in large part by the notorious Purple Gang. Strained racial relations were evident in the 1920s trial of Dr. Ossian Sweet, a black Detroit physician acquitted of murder. A man died when shots were fired from Ossian's house into a threatening mob who gathered to try to force him out of a predominantly white neighbourhood.
Labor strife climaxed in the 1930s when the United Auto Workers became involved in bitter disputes with Detroit's auto manufacturers. The labor activism of those years brought notoriety to union leaders such as Jimmy Hoffa and Walter Reuther. The 1940s saw the construction of the world's first urban depressed freeway, the Davison and the industrial growth during World War II that led to Detroit's nickname as the Arsenal of Democracy.
Industry spurred growth during the first half of the twentieth century as the city drew tens of thousands of new residents, particularly workers from the Southern United States, to become the USA's fourth largest. At the same time, tens of thousands of European immigrants poured into the city. Social tensions rose with the rapid pace of growth. The colour blind promotion policies of the auto plants resulted in racial tension that erupted into a full-scale riot in 1943.
Consolidation during the 1950s, especially in the automobile sector, increased competition for jobs. An extensive freeway system constructed in the 1950s and 1960s had facilitated commuting. The Twelfth Street riot in 1967, as well as court-ordered busing accelerated white flight from the city. Commensurate with the shift of population and jobs to its suburbs, the city's tax base eroded. In the years following, Detroit's population fell from a peak of roughly 1.8 million in 1950 to about half that number today.
The gasoline crises of 1973 and 1979 impacted the U.S. auto industry as small cars from foreign makers made inroads. Heroin and crack cocaine use afflicted the city with the influence of Butch Jones, Maserati Rick, and the Chambers Brothers. Renaissance has been a perennial buzzword among city leaders, reinforced by the construction of the Renaissance Centre in the late 1970s. This complex of skyscrapers, designed as a city within a city, together with other developments, slowed and eventually began to reverse the trend of businesses leaving Downtown Detroit by the late 1990s.
In 1980, Detroit hosted the Republican National Convention which nominated Ronald Reagan to a successful bid for President of the United States. By then, nearly three decades inadequate policies and crime had caused areas like the Elmhurst block to decay. During the 1980s, vacant structures were demolished to make way for redevelopment.
In the 1990s, the city began to receive a revival with much of it centered in the Downtown, Midtown, and New Centre areas. One Detroit Centre (1993) arose on the city skyline. In the ensuing years, three casinos opened in Detroit: MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino, and Greektown Casino which debuted as resorts in 2007–08. New downtown stadiums were constructed for the Detroit Tigers and Detroit Lions in 2000 and 2002, respectively; this put the Lions' home stadium in the city proper for the first time since 1974. The city also saw the historic Book Cadillac Hotel and the Fort Shelby Hotel reopen for the first time in over 20 years. The city hosted the 2005 MLB All-Star Game, 2006 Super Bowl XL, 2006 World Series, WrestleMania 23 in 2007 and the NCAA Final Four in April 2009 all of which prompted many improvements to the downtown area.
The city's riverfront is the focus of much development following the example of Windsor, Ontario which began its waterfront parkland conversion in the 1990s; in 2007, the first portions of the River Walk were laid, including miles of parks and fountains. This new urban development in Detroit is a mainstay in the city's plan to enhance its economy through tourism. Along the river, developers are constructing upscale condominiums such as Watermark Detroit. Some city limit signs, particularly on the Dearborn border say "Welcome to Detroit, The Renaissance City Founded 1701."
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 143.0 square miles (370 square kilometres); of this, 138.8 square miles (359 square kilometres) is land and 4.2 square miles (11 square kilometres) is water. Detroit is the principal city of the Metro Detroit and Southeast Michigan regions.
The highest elevation in the city is in the University District neighbourhood in northwestern Detroit, west of Palmer Park, sitting at a height of 670 feet (200 metres). Detroit's lowest elevation is along its riverfront, sitting at a height of 579 feet (176 metres). Detroit completely encircles the cities of Hamtramck and Highland Park. On its northeast border are the communities of Grosse Pointe.
The Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge is the only international wildlife preserve in North America, uniquely located in the heart of a major metropolitan area. The Refuge includes islands, coastal wetlands, marshes, shoals, and waterfront lands along 48 miles (77 km) of the Detroit River and Western Lake Erie shoreline.
Three road systems cross the city: the original French template, radial avenues from a Washington, D.C.-inspired system, and true north–south roads from the Northwest Ordinance township system. The city is north of Windsor, Ontario. Detroit is the only major city along the U.S.–Canadian border in which one travels south in order to cross into Canada.
Detroit has four border crossings: the Ambassador Bridge and the Detroit–Windsor Tunnel provide motor vehicle thoroughfares, with the Michigan Central Railway Tunnel providing railroad access to and from Canada. The fourth border crossing is the Detroit–Windsor Truck Ferry, located near the Windsor Salt Mine and Zug Island. Near Zug Island, the southwest part of the city sits atop a 1,500-acre (610 ha) salt mine that is 1,100 feet (340 m) below the surface. The Detroit Salt Company mine has over 100 miles (160 km) of roads within.
Detroit and the rest of southeastern Michigan have a humid continental climate (Koppen Dfa) which is influenced by the Great Lakes. Winters are cold, with moderate snowfall and temperatures at night occasionally dropping below 0 °F (−17.8 °C) around six times per year, while summers are warm to hot with temperatures exceeding 90 °F (32.2 °C) on 12 days. Snowfall, which typically peaks from December to through February, averages 43.3 inches (110 cm) per season. Monthly averages range from 24.5 °F (−4.2 °C) in January to 73.5 °F (23.1 °C) in July. The highest recorded temperature was 105 °F (40.6 °C) on July 24, 1934, while the lowest recorded temperature was −21 °F (−29.4 °C) on January 21, 1984.
|Climate data for Detroit ( Detroit Metro Airport)|
|Record high °F (°C)||67
|Average high °F (°C)||31.1
|Average low °F (°C)||17.8
|Record low °F (°C)||−21
|Precipitation inches (mm)||1.91
|Snowfall inches (cm)||11.3
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)||13.4||11.3||12.7||12.6||11.6||10.1||9.6||9.5||9.9||9.8||12.3||13.9||136.7|
|Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.1 in)||10.9||7.9||5.5||2.1||0||0||0||0||0||0.3||3.5||9||39.2|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||120.9||138.4||186||216||275.9||303||316.2||282.1||228||176.7||105||86.8||2435|
|Source #1: NOAA (normals 1971–2000, records 1874–2009)|
|Source #2: HKO (sun, 1961–1990)|
Seen in panorama, Detroit's waterfront shows a variety of architectural styles. The post modern neogothic spires of the One Detroit Centre (1993) were designed to blend with the city’s Art Deco skyscrapers. Together with the Renaissance Centre, they form a distinctive and recognizable skyline. Examples of the Art Deco style include the Guardian Building and Penobscot Building downtown, as well as the Fisher Building and Cadillac Place in the New Centre area near Wayne State University. Among the city's prominent structures are USA's largest Fox Theatre, the Detroit Opera House, and the Detroit Institute of Arts.
While the downtown and New Centre areas contain high-rise buildings, the majority of the surrounding city consists of low-rise structures and single-family homes. Outside of the city's core, residential high-rises are found in neighborhoods such as the East Riverfront extending toward Grosse Pointe and the Palmer Park neighbourhood just west of Woodward. The University Commons-Palmer Park district in northwest Detroit is near the University of Detroit Mercy and Marygrove College which anchors historic neighborhoods including Palmer Woods, Sherwood Forest, and the University District.
The National Register of Historic Places lists several area neighborhoods and districts. Neighborhoods constructed prior to World War II feature the architecture of the times with wood frame and brick houses in the working class neighborhoods, larger brick homes in middle class neighborhoods, and ornate mansions in neighborhoods such as Brush Park, Woodbridge, Indian Village, Palmer Woods, Boston-Edison, and others.
The oldest neighborhoods are along the Woodward and East Jefferson corridors, while neighborhoods built in the 1950s are found in the far west and closer to 8 Mile Road. Some of the oldest extant neighborhoods include Corktown, a working class, formerly Irish neighbourhood, and Brush Park. Both are now seeing multi-million dollar restorations and construction of new homes and condominiums.
Many of the city's architecturally significant buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places and the city has one of USA's largest surviving collections of late 19th and early 20th century buildings. There are a number of architecturally significant churches and cathedrals, including St. Joseph's, St. Mary's, and Ste. Anne de Detroit.
There is substantial activity in urban design, historic preservation and architecture. A number of downtown redevelopment projects—of which Campus Martius Park is one of the most notable—have revitalized parts of the city. Grand Circus Park stands near the city's theatre district, Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions, and Comerica Park, home of the Detroit Tigers.
The Detroit International Riverfront includes a partially completed three and one-half mile riverfront promenade with a combination of parks, residential buildings, and commercial areas from Hart Plaza to the MacArthur Bridge accessing Belle Isle (the largest island park in a U.S. city). The riverfront includes Tri-Centennial State Park and Harbour, Michigan's first urban state park. The second phase is a two mile (3 km) extension from Hart Plaza to the Ambassador Bridge for a total of five miles (8 km) of parkway from bridge to bridge. Civic planners envision that the riverfront properties condemned under eminent domain, with their pedestrian parks, will spur more residential development. Other major parks include Palmer (north of Highland Park), River Rouge (in the southwest side), and Chene Park (on the east river downtown).
Culture and contemporary life
Downtown Detroit is growing in its population of young professionals and retail is expanding. A number of luxury high rises have been built. The east river development plans include more luxury condominium developments. A desire to be closer to the urban scene has attracted young professionals to take up residence among the mansions of Grosse Pointe just outside the city. Detroit's proximity to Windsor, Ontario, provides for views and nightlife, along with Ontario's minimum drinking age of 19.
Entertainment and performing arts
Live music has been a prominent feature of Detroit's nightlife since the late 1940s, bringing the city recognition under the nickname Motown. The metropolitan area has many nationally prominent live music venues. Concerts hosted by Live Nation perform throughout the Detroit area. Large concerts are held at DTE Energy Music Theatre and The Palace of Auburn Hills. The Detroit Theatre District is the USA's second largest and hosts Broadway performances. Major theaters include the Fox Theatre, Music Hall, the Gem Theatre, Masonic Temple Theatre, the Detroit Opera House, the Fisher Theatre and Orchestra Hall which hosts the renowned Detroit Symphony Orchestra. The Nederlander Organization, the largest controller of Broadway productions in New York City, originated with the purchase of the Detroit Opera House in 1922 by the Nederlander family.
Movie studios are planned for the metro area. Motown Motion Picture Studios with 600,000 square feet (56,000 m2) will produce movies in Detroit and the surrounding area based at the Pontiac Centerpoint Business Campus for a film industry expected to employ over 4,000 people in the metro area.
The city of Detroit has a rich musical heritage and has contributed to a number of different genres over the decades leading into the new millennium. Important music events in the city include: the Detroit International Jazz Festival, the Detroit Electronic Music Festival, the Motor City Music Conference (MC2), the Urban Organic Music Conference, the Concert of Colors, and the hip-hop Summer Jamz festival.
In the 1940s, blues artist John Lee Hooker became a long-term resident in the city's southwest Delray neighbourhood. Hooker, among other important blues musicians migrated from his home in Mississippi bringing the Delta Blues to northern cities like Detroit. Hooker recorded for Fortune Records, the biggest pre-Motown blues/soul label. During the 1950s, the city became a centre for jazz, with stars performing in the Black Bottom neighbourhood. Prominent emerging Jazz musicians of the 1960s included: trumpet player Donald Byrd who attended Cass Tech and performed with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers early in his career and Saxophonist Pepper Adams who enjoyed a solo career and accompanied Byrd on several albums. The Graystone International Jazz Museum documents jazz in Detroit.
Other, prominent Motor City R&B stars in the 1950s and early 1960s was Nolan Strong, Andre Williams and Nathaniel Mayer - who all scored local and national hits on the Fortune Records label. According to Smokey Robinson, Strong was a primary influence on his voice as a teenager. The Fortune label was a family-operated label located on Third Avenue in Detroit, and was owned by the husband and wife team of Jack Brown and Devora Brown. Fortune, which also released country, gospel and rockabilly LPs and 45s, laid the groundwork for Motown, which became Detroit's most legendary record label.
Berry Gordy, Jr. founded Motown Records which rose to prominence during the 1960s and early 1970s with acts such as Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, Diana Ross & The Supremes, the Jackson 5, Martha and the Vandellas and Marvin Gaye. The Motown Sound played an important role in the crossover appeal with popular music, since it was the first African American owned record label to primarily feature African-American artists. Gordy moved Motown to Los Angeles in 1972 to pursue film production, but the company has since returned to Detroit. Aretha Franklin, another Detroit R&B star, carried the Motown Sound; however, she did not record with Berry's Motown Label.
Local artists and bands rose to prominence in the 1960s and 70s including: the MC5, The Stooges, Bob Seger, Amboy Dukes featuring Ted Nugent, Mitch Ryder and The Detroit Wheels, Rare Earth, Alice Cooper, and Suzi Quatro. The group Kiss emphasized the city's connection with rock in the song Detroit Rock City and the movie produced in 1999. In the 1980s, Detroit was an important centre of the hardcore punk rock underground with many nationally known bands coming out of the city and its suburbs, such as The Necros, The Meatmen, and Negative Approach.
In 1990s and the new millennium, the city has produced a number of influential artists, for example Eminem, the hip-hop artist with the highest cumulative sales, and hip hop producer J Dilla. Detroit is cited as the birthplace of techno music. Prominent Detroit Techno artists include Juan Atkins, Derrick May, and Kevin Saunderson. The band Sponge toured and produced music, with artists such as Kid Rock and Uncle Kracker. The city has an active garage rock genre that has generated national attention with acts such as: The White Stripes, The Von Bondies, The Dirtbombs, Electric Six, and The Hard Lessons.
Many of the area's prominent museums are located in the historic cultural center neighbourhood around Wayne State University. These museums include the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Detroit Historical Museum, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the Detroit Science Centre, and the main branch of the Detroit Public Library. Other cultural highlights include Motown Historical Museum, Tuskegee Airmen Museum, Fort Wayne, Dossin Great Lakes Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD), the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit (CAID), and the Belle Isle Conservatory. Important history of Detroit and the surrounding area is exhibited at The Henry Ford, the USA's largest indoor-outdoor museum complex. The Detroit Historical Society provides information about tours of area churches, skyscrapers, and mansions. Other sites of interest are the Detroit Zoo and the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory on Belle Isle.
The Eastern Market farmer's distribution centre is the largest open-air flowerbed market in the United States and has more than 150 foods and specialty businesses. On Saturdays, about 45,000 people shop the city's historic Eastern Market. The Midtown and the New Centre area are centered on Wayne State University and Henry Ford Hospital. Midtown has about 50,000 residents and attracts millions of visitors each year to its museums and cultural centers; for example, the Detroit Festival of the Arts in Midtown draws about 350,000 people.
The city's Greektown and casino resorts serve as an entertainment hub. Annual summer events include the Electronic Music Festival, International Jazz Festival, and Woodward Dream Cruise. Within downtown, Campus Martius Park hosts large events such as the Motown Winter Blast. As the world's traditional automotive centre, the city hosts the North American International Auto Show. Held since 1924, America's Thanksgiving Parade is one of the USA's largest. The Motown Winter Blast, and the summer River Days, a five-day festival on the International Riverfront, leading up to the Windsor-Detroit International Freedom Festival fireworks can draw super sized-crowds of hundreds of thousands to over three million people.
An important civic sculpture in Detroit is Marshall Fredericks' " Spirit of Detroit" at the Coleman Young Municipal Centre. The image is often used as a symbol of Detroit and the statue itself is occasionally dressed in sports jerseys to celebrate when a Detroit team is doing well. A memorial to Joe Louis at the intersection of Jefferson and Woodward Avenues was dedicated on October 16, 1986. The sculpture, commissioned by Sports Illustrated and executed by Robert Graham, is a twenty-four foot (7.3 m) long arm with a fisted hand suspended by a pyramidal framework.
Artist Tyree Guyton created the controversial street art exhibit known as the Heidelberg Project in the mid 1980s, using found objects including cars, clothing and shoes found in the neighbourhood near and on Heidelberg Street on the near East Side of Detroit.
Detroit is one of 13 American metropolitan areas that are home to professional teams representing the four major sports in North America. All these teams but one play within the city of Detroit itself (the NBA's Detroit Pistons play in suburban Auburn Hills at The Palace of Auburn Hills). There are three active major sports venues within the city: Comerica Park (home of the Major League Baseball team Detroit Tigers), Ford Field (home of the NFL's Detroit Lions), and Joe Louis Arena (home of the NHL's Detroit Red Wings). A 1996 marketing campaign promoted the nickname " Hockeytown".
In college sports, Detroit's central location within the Mid-American Conference has made it a frequent site for the league's championship events. While the MAC Basketball Tournament moved permanently to Cleveland starting in 2000, the MAC Football Championship Game has been played at Ford Field in Detroit since 2004, and annually attracts 25,000 to 30,000 fans. The University of Detroit Mercy has a NCAA Division I program, and Wayne State University has both NCAA Division I and II programs. The NCAA football Little Caesars Pizza Bowl is held at Ford Field each December.
Sailboat racing is a major sport in the Detroit area. Lake Saint Clair is home to many yacht clubs which host regattas. Bayview Yacht Club, the Detroit Yacht Club, Crescent Sail Yacht Club, Grosse Pointe Yacht Club, The Windsor Yacht Club, and the Edison Boat Club each participate in and are governed by the Detroit Regional Yacht-Racing Association or DRYA. Detroit is home to many One-Design fleets including, but not limited to, North American 40s, Cal 25s, Cuthbertson and Cassian 35s, Crescent Sailboats, Express 27s, J 120s, J 105, Flying Scots, and many more.
The Crescent Sailboat, NA-40, and the L boat were designed and built exclusively in Detroit. Detroit also has a very active and competitive junior sailing program. The junior sailing program at the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club is renowned for producing world class sailors such as Carrie Howe and Jack Wheeler.
Since 1916, the city has been home to Unlimited Hydroplane racing, held annually (with exceptions) on the Detroit River near Belle Isle. Often, the hydroplane boat race is for the APBA Challenge Cup, more commonly known as the Gold Cup (first awarded in 1904, created by Tiffany) which is the oldest active motorsport trophy in the world.
The city hosts the Detroit Indy Grand Prix on Belle Isle Park, an event which generates about $53 million in economic impact for the area. In 2007, open-wheel racing returned to Belle Isle with both Indy Racing League and American Le Mans Series Racing.
In the years following the mid-1930s, Detroit was referred to as the "City of Champions" after the Tigers, Lions, and Red Wings captured all 3 major professional sports championships in a 7 month period of time (the Tigers won the World Series in October, 1935; the Lions won the NFL championship in December, 1935; the Red Wings won the Stanley Cup in April, 1936). Gar Wood (a native Detroiter) won the Harmsworth Trophy for unlimited powerboat racing on the Detroit River in 1931. In the next year, 1932, Eddie "The Midnight Express" Tolan, a black student from Detroit's Cass Technical High School, won the 100- and 200-meter races and two gold medals at the 1932 Summer Olympics. Joe Louis won the heavyweight championship of the world in 1937. Also, in 1935 the Detroit Lions won the NFL championship. The Detroit Tigers have won ten American League pennants (The most recent being in 2006) and four World Series titles. In 1984, the Detroit Tigers' World Series championship, after which crowds had left three dead and millions of dollars in property damage. The Detroit Red Wings have won 11 Stanley Cups (the most by an American NHL Franchise), the Detroit Pistons have won three NBA titles, and the Detroit Shock have won three WNBA titles.
Detroit has the distinction of being the city which has made the most bids to host the Summer Olympics without ever being awarded the games: seven unsuccessful bids for the 1944, 1952, 1956, 1960, 1964, 1968 and 1972 games. It came as high as second place in the balloting two times, losing the 1964 games to Tokyo and the 1968 games to Mexico City.
Detroit hosts many WWE events such as the 2007 WWE's WrestleMania 23 which attracted 80,103 fans to Ford Field; the event marking the 20th anniversary of WrestleMania III which drew a reported 93,173 to the Pontiac Silverdome in nearby Pontiac, Michigan in 1987. The city hosted the Red Bull Air Race in 2008 on the International Riverfront.
Detroit and the surrounding region constitute a major manufacturing centre, most notably as home to the Big Three automobile companies, General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler. The city is an important centre for global trade with large international law firms having their offices in both Detroit and Windsor. About 80,500 people work in downtown Detroit, comprising 21% of the City's employment.
There are about four thousand factories in the area. The domestic auto industry is primarily headquartered in Metro Detroit. New vehicle production, sales, and jobs related to automobile use account for one of every ten jobs in the United States. The area is also an important source of engineering job opportunities. A 2004 Border Transportation Partnership study showed that 150,000 jobs in the Windsor-Detroit region and $13 billion in annual production depend on the City of Detroit's international border crossing.
The Detroit area is accustomed to the economic cycles of the auto industry. A rise in automated manufacturing using robotic technology has created related industries in the area; inexpensive labor in other parts of the world and increased competition have led to a steady transformation of certain types of manufacturing jobs in the region with the Detroit area gaining new lithium ion battery plants. In addition to property taxes, residents pay an income tax rate of 2.50%. In December 2010, the Department of Labor reported metropolitan Detroit's unemployment rate at 11.1%, with the city's unemployment rate for December 2010 at 19.1%.
The city has cleared sections of land while retaining a number of historically significant vacant buildings in order to spur redevelopment; though the city has struggled with finances, it issued bonds in 2008 to provide funding for ongoing work to demolish blighted properties. In 2006, downtown Detroit reported $1.3 billion in restorations and new developments which increased the number of construction jobs in the city. In decade leading up to 2006, downtown Detroit gained more than $15 billion in new investment from private and public sectors.
The Detroit automakers and local manufacturing have made significant adjustments in response to market competition from foreign rivals. The 2000s energy crisis, the subsequent Late-2000s recession, and the increasingly unwieldy burden of employee retirement and healthcare costs have all been implicated. Concern among analysts over restored profits fueled economic uncertainty in 2008-09 in the metro Detroit area.
In January 2009, President Barack Obama formed an automotive task force in order to facilitate economic recovery. The severity of the recession required Detroit's automakers to take additional steps to restructure, including idling many plants. With the U.S. Treasury extending the necessary debtor in possession financing, Chrysler and GM emerged from 'pre-packaged' Chapter 11 reorganizations in June and July 2009 respectively.
GM began the initial public offering (IPO) of stock in 2010. General Motors has invested heavily in all fuel cell equipped vehicles, while Chrysler has focused research and development into biodiesel. In August 2009, Michigan and Detroit's auto industry received $1.36 B in grants from the U.S. Department of Energy for the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries. For 2010, the domestic automakers have reported significant profits indicating the beginning of rebound.
Firms in the region pursue emerging technologies including biotechnology, nanotechnology, information technology, and hydrogen fuel cell development. The city of Detroit has made efforts to lure the region's growth companies downtown with advantages such as a wireless Internet zone, business tax incentives, entertainment, an international riverfront, and residential high rises. Thus far, the city has had some success, most notably the addition of Compuware World Headquarters, OnStar, regional offices of HP Enterprise Services at Tower 500 of the Renaissance Centre, PricewaterhouseCoopers Plaza offices adjacent to Ford Field, and the 2006 completion of Ernst & Young's offices at One Kennedy Square.
On November 12, 2007, Quicken Loans announced its development agreement with the city to move its world headquarters, and 4,000 employees, to downtown Detroit, consolidating its suburban offices, a move considered to be a high importance to city planners to reestablish the historic downtown. The construction sites reserved for development by the agreement include the location of the former Statler on Grand Circus Park and the former Hudson's location. Some Fortune 500 companies headquartered in Detroit include General Motors, auto parts maker American Axle & Manufacturing, and DTE Energy. Other major industries include advertising, law, finance, chemicals, and computer software. Medical service providers such as the Detroit Medical Centre and Henry Ford Hospital are major employers in the city.
Casino gaming plays an important economic role, with Detroit the largest city in the United States to offer casino resorts. Caesars Windsor, Canada's largest, complements the MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino, and Greektown Casino in Detroit. Though the casinos have brought new tax revenue and jobs to the city, the city still has high unemployment. Gaming revenues have grown steadily, with Detroit ranked as the fifth largest gambling market in the USA for 2007. When Casino Windsor is included, Detroit's gambling market ranks third or fourth. In an effort to support spending within the city, certain business owners set up "mints" to distribute the Detroit Community Scrip. The scrip is used at local clubs and bars to ensure some dollars stay within the city by establishing a note that is only legal tender at certain places.
In 2009, Detroit ranked as the United States' eleventh most populous city, with 910,920 residents. The name Detroit sometimes refers to Metro Detroit, a six-county area with a population of 4,403,437 for the Metropolitan Statistical Area, making it the USA's eleventh-largest, and a population of 5,327,764 for the nine-county Combined Statistical Area as of the 2009 Census Bureau estimates. The Detroit-Windsor area, a critical commercial link straddling the Canada-U.S. border, has a total population of about 5,700,000. Immigration continues to play a role in the region's projected growth.
Metro: Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)
Region: Combined Statistical Area (CSA)
Detroit had 33.8% of its residents below the poverty level in 2007, the highest among large U.S. cities. This stands in stark contrast to Metro Detroit suburbs, which are among the more affluent in the U.S.
The city's population increased more than sixfold during the first half of the twentieth century, fed largely by an influx of European, Middle Eastern ( Lebanese),( Assyrian/Chaldean), and Southern migrants to work in the burgeoning automobile industry. However, since 1950 the city has seen a major shift in its population to the suburbs. In 1910, fewer than 6,000 blacks called the city home; in 1930 more than 120,000 blacks lived in Detroit. The thousands of African Americans who came to Detroit were part of the Great Migration of the 20th century.
The city population dropped from its peak in 1950 with a population of 1,849,568 to 910,920 in 2009. This is partly attributable to the construction of an extensive freeway system during the 1950s and white flight. In the 2000s, 70% of the total black population in Metro Detroit lived in the City of Detroit.
As of the 2000 Census, there were 951,270 people, 336,428 households, and 218,341 families residing in the city. The population density was 6,855.1 people per square mile (2,646.7/km²). There were 375,096 housing units at an average density of 2,703.0 units per square mile (1,043.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 81.6% Black, 12.3% White, 1.0% Asian, 0.3% Native American, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 2.5% other races, 2.3% two or more races, and 5.0% Hispanic (mostly Puerto Rican and Mexican). The city's foreign-born population is at 4.8%. Estimates from the 2009 American Community Survey showed the foreign-born population have risen to 6.6%.
There were 336,428 households out of which 33.9% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 26.7% were married couples living together, 31.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.1% were non-families, 29.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.2% had someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.77 and the average family size was 3.45.
There is a wide age distribution in the city, with 31.1% under the age of 18, 9.7% from 18 to 24, 29.5% from 25 to 44, 19.3% from 45 to 64, and 10.4% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 89.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.5 males.
For the 2000 Census, median household income in the city was $29,526, and the median income for a family was $33,853. Males had a median income of $33,381 versus $26,749 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,717. 21.7% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 34.5% of those under the age of 18 and 18.6% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.
A 2007 Social Compact report showed the city of Detroit's median household income at $34,512, a 12% increase over the Census estimate. The 2009 American Community Survey placed the median household income $26,098, an 11.6% decrease from 2000.
Law and government
The city government is run by a mayor and nine-member city council and clerk elected on an at-large nonpartisan ballot. Since voters approved the city's charter in 1974, Detroit has had a " strong mayoral" system, with the mayor approving departmental appointments. The council approves budgets but the mayor is not obligated to adhere to any earmarking. City ordinances and substantially large contracts must be approved by the council. The city clerk supervises elections and is formally charged with the maintenance of municipal records. Municipal elections for mayor, city council and city clerk are held at four-year intervals, in the year after presidential elections (so that there are Detroit elections scheduled in 1993, 1997, 2001, 2005, 2009, etc.). Following a November 2009 referendum, seven council members will be elected from districts beginning in 2013 while two will continue to be elected at-large.
Detroit's courts are state-administered and elections are nonpartisan. The Probate Court for Wayne County is located in the Coleman A. Young Municipal Centre in downtown Detroit. The Circuit Court is located across Gratiot Ave. in the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice, in downtown Detroit. The city is home to the Thirty Sixth District Court, as well as the First District of the Michigan Court of Appeals and the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.
Politically, the city consistently supports the Democratic Party in state and national elections (local elections are nonpartisan). According to a study released by the Bay Area Centre for Voting Research, Detroit is the most liberal large city in America, measuring only the percentage of city residents who voted for the Democratic Party.
In 2000, the City requested an investigation by the United States Justice Department into the Detroit Police Department which was concluded in 2003 over allegations regarding its use of force and civil rights violations. The city proceeded with a major reorganization of the Detroit Police Department.
Urban development in Detroit has been an important issue. In 1973, the city elected its first black mayor, Coleman Young. Despite development efforts, his combative style during his five terms in office was not well received by many whites. Mayor Dennis Archer, a former Michigan Supreme Court Justice, refocused the city's attention on redevelopment with a plan to permit three casinos downtown.
Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick resigned his office effective September 19, 2008, after pleading guilty to two counts of obstruction of justice and no contest to one count of assaulting and obstructing a police officer. Kilpatrick was succeeded in office on an interim basis by City Council President Kenneth Cockrel, Jr. until a May, 2009 special election in which businessman and former Detroit Pistons star Dave Bing was elected Mayor for the remaining duration of Kilpatrick's term. Bing has since been re-elected to his first full term of office, and is Detroit's current mayor.
Detroit has a variety of neighbourhood types. The revitalized Downtown, Midtown, and New Centre areas feature many historic buildings and are high density, while further out, particularly in the northeast and on the fringes, the city reported increased vacancies in 2009, for which a number of solutions have been proposed. In 2007, Downtown Detroit was named 18th (out of 35) best neighbourhood in which to retire among the USA's 30 largest metro areas by CNN Money Magazine editors.
Lafayette Park is a revitalized neighorhood on the city's east side, part of the Ludwig Mies van der Rohe residential district. The 78- acre (32 ha) urban renewal project was originally called the Gratiot Park Development. Planned by Mies van der Rohe, Ludwig Hilberseimer and Alfred Caldwell it includes a landscaped, 19-acre (7.7 ha) park with no through traffic, in which these and other low-rise apartment buildings are situated. Immigrants have contributed to the city's neighborhood revitalization, especially in southwest Detroit. Southwest Detroit has experienced a thriving economy in recent years, as evidenced by new housing, increased business openings and the recently opened Mexicantown International Welcome Centre.
Detroit has numerous neighborhoods consisting of vacant properties resulting in low inhabited density, stretching city services and infrastructure. These neighborhoods are concentrated in the northeast and on the city's fringes. The 2009 residential lot vacancy in Detroit was 27.8%, up from 10.3% in 2000, with the population continuing to shrink and foreclosures that exacerbate the problem. An estimated 20 to 30 percent of lots are vacant. A 2009 parcel survey found 33,527 or 10% of the city's housing to be unoccupied, but recommended that only one percent or 3,480 of the city's housing units be demolished. In 2010, the city began using federal funds on its quest to demolish 10,000 empty residential structures. About 3,000 of these of the residential structures were torn down in 2010. A number of solutions have been proposed for dealing with the shrinkage, including resident relocation from more sparsely populated neighborhoods and converting unused space to agricultural use, though the city expects to be in the planning stages for up to another two years. Mayor Bing has also proposed a plan to cut off municipal services, including garbage pickup and police sweeps for the more sparsely-populated 20% of the city's area.
In April 2008, the city announced a $300-million stimulus plan to create jobs and revitalize neighborhoods, financed by city bonds and paid for by earmarking about 15% of the wagering tax. The city's working plans for neighbourhood revitalizations include 7-Mile/Livernois, Brightmoor, East English Village, Grand River/Greenfield, North-End, and Osborn. Private organizations have pledged substantial funding to the efforts.
Although crime has declined significantly since the 1970s, the violent crime rate is one of the highest in the USA, while the chances are roughly 1 in 16 to be a victim of a property crime. The city had the sixth highest number of violent crimes among the twenty-five largest US cities in 2007. The rate of violent crime dropped 11 percent in 2008. Neighborhoodscout.com reported a crime rate of 62.18 per 1000 residents for property crimes, and 16.73 per 1000 for violent crimes (compared to national figures of 32 per 1000 for property crimes and 5 per 1000 for violent crime in 2008)
The city's downtown is far safer by comparison with a 2006 study showing crime in downtown Detroit to be much lower than national, state and metro averages. According to a 2007 analysis, Detroit officials note that about 65 to 70 percent of homicides in the city were drug related.
Colleges and universities
Detroit is home to several institutions of higher learning, including Wayne State University, a national research university with medical and law schools in the Midtown area. Other institutions in the city include the University of Detroit Mercy with its schools of Law, Dentistry, and Nursing, the College for Creative Studies, Lewis College of Business, Marygrove College and Wayne County Community College. In June 2009, the Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine opened a satellite campus located at the Detroit Medical Centre. The Detroit College of Law, now affiliated with Michigan State University, was founded in the city in 1891 and remained there until 1997, when it relocated to East Lansing. The University of Michigan was established in 1817 in Detroit and later moved to Ann Arbor in 1837. In 1959, University of Michigan–Dearborn was established in neighboring Dearborn.
Primary and secondary schools
Public schools and charter schools
With about 84,000 public school students (2010–11), the Detroit Public Schools (DPS) district is the largest school district in Michigan. Detroit has an additional 54,000 charter school students for a combined enrollment of about 138,000 students.
In the mid- to late 1990s, the Michigan Legislature removed the locally elected board of education amid allegations of mismanagement and replaced it with a reform board appointed by the mayor and governor. The elected board of education was re-established following a city referendum in 2005. The first election of the new eleven-member board of education occurred on November 8, 2005. Due to growing Detroit Charter Schools enrollment, the city planned to close many public schools. State officials report a 68% graduation rate for Detroit's public schools adjusted for those who change schools.
Detroit is served by various private schools, as well as parochial Roman Catholic schools operated by the Archdiocese of Detroit. The Archdiocese of Detroit lists a number of primary and secondary schools in the city, along with those in the metro area, but Catholic education has contracted from its earlier base in the city and emigrated to the suburbs. There are 23 Catholic high schools in the Archdiocese of Detroit. Of the three Catholic high schools in the city, two are operated by the Society of Jesus and the third is co-sponsored by the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Congregation of St. Basil.
Within the city of Detroit, there are over a dozen major hospitals which include the Detroit Medical Centre (DMC), Henry Ford Health System, St. John Health System, and the John D. Dingell VA Medical Centre. The DMC, a regional Level I trauma center, consists of Detroit Receiving Hospital and University Health Center, Children's Hospital of Michigan, Harper University Hospital, Hutzel Women's Hospital, Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan, Sinai-Grace Hospital, and the Karmanos Cancer Institute. The DMC has more than 2,000 licensed beds and 3,000 affiliated physicians. It is the largest private employer in the City of Detroit. The centre is staffed by physicians from the Wayne State University School of Medicine, the largest single-campus medical school in the United States, and the USA's fourth largest medical school overall. On March 19, 2010, Vanguard Health Systems announced plans to invest nearly $1.5 B in Detroit Medical Centre, including $850 M for expansion and renovation, and $417 M to retire debts. In 2010, Henry Ford Health System in the New Center also announced a $500 M expansion in Detroit with plans for a biomedical research centre. The metro area has many other hospitals, among which are William Beaumont Hospital, St. Joseph's, and University of Michigan Medical Centre, mostly in suburban counties.
With its proximity to Canada and its facilities, ports, major highways, rail connections and international airports, Detroit is an important transportation hub. The city has three international border crossings, the Ambassador Bridge, Detroit-Windsor Tunnel and Michigan Central Railway Tunnel, linking Detroit to Windsor, Ontario. The Ambassador Bridge is the single busiest border crossing in North America, carrying 27% of the total trade between the U.S. and Canada.
Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW), the area's principal airport, is located in nearby Romulus and is a primary hub for Delta Air Lines and a secondary hub for Spirit Airlines. Bishop International Airport (FNT) in Flint, Michigan is the second busiest commercial airport in the region. Coleman A. Young International Airport (DET), previously called Detroit City Airport, is on Detroit's northeast side. Although Southwest Airlines once flew from the airport, the airport now maintains only charter service and general aviation. Willow Run Airport, in far-western Wayne County near Ypsilanti, is a general aviation and cargo airport.
Mass transit in the region is provided by bus services. Ridership on the region's mass transit systems increased by 8.4% in 2006. The Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT) provides service to the outer edges of the city. From there, the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) provides service to the suburbs. Cross border service between the downtown areas of Windsor and Detroit is provided by Transit Windsor via the Tunnel Bus. It is also possible for those who cross to Detroit on the tunnel bus to use a Transit Windsor transfer for transfers onto Detroit Smart buses, allowing for travel around Metro Detroit from a single fare.
An elevated rail system known as the People Mover, completed in 1987, provides daily service around a 2.9 miles (4.7 kilometres) loop downtown. The Woodward Avenue Light Rail, beginning in 2013, will serve as a link between the Detroit People Mover and SEMCOG Commuter Rail which extends from Detroit's New Centre area to The Henry Ford, Dearborn, Detroit Metropolitan Airport, Ypsilanti, and Ann Arbor Amtrak provides service to Detroit, operating its Wolverine service between Chicago and Pontiac. Baggage cannot be checked at this location; however, up to two suitcases in addition to any "personal items" such as briefcases, purses, laptop bags, and infant equipment are allowed on board as carry-ons. The Amtrak station is located in the New Centre area north of downtown. The J.W. Westcott II, which delivers mail to lake freighters on the Detroit River, is the world's only floating post office.
Metro Detroit has an extensive toll-free expressway system administered by the Michigan Department of Transportation. Four major Interstate Highways surround the city. Detroit is connected via Interstate 75 and Interstate 96 to Kings Highway 401 and to major Southern Ontario cities such as London, Ontario and the Greater Toronto Area. I-75 (The Chrysler and Fisher Freeways) is the region's main north-south route, serving Flint, Pontiac, Troy, and Detroit, before continuing south (as the Detroit-Toledo and Seaway Freeways) to serve many of the communities along the shore of Lake Erie.
I-94 (The Edsel Ford Freeway) runs east-west through Detroit and serves Ann Arbor to the west (where it continues to Chicago) and Port Huron to the northeast. The stretch of the current I-94 freeway from Ypsilanti to Detroit was one of America's earlier limited-access highways. Henry Ford built it to link the factories at Willow Run and Dearborn during World War II. A portion was known as the Willow Run Expressway. I-96 runs northwest-southeast through Livingston, Oakland and Wayne Counties and (as the Jeffries Freeway through Wayne County) has its eastern terminus in downtown Detroit.
I-275 runs north-south from I-75 in the south to the junction of I-96 and I-696 in the north, providing a bypass through the western suburbs of Detroit. I-375 (The Chrysler Spur) is a short spur route in downtown Detroit, an extension of the Chrysler Freeway. I-696 (The Reuther Freeway) runs east-west from the junction of I-96 and I-275, providing a route through the northern suburbs of Detroit. Taken together, I-275 and I-696 form a semicircle around Detroit. Michigan State highways designated with the letter M serve to connect major freeways.
|Novi, Farmington Hills, Southfield||Troy, Hazel Park, Royal Oak, Ferndale, Oak Park||Mount Clemens/ Warren Area, Eastpointe, Lake St. Clair|
|Redford, Livonia, Plymouth, Ann Arbor||Belle Isle Park, Grosse Pointe, Lake St. Clair|
|Dearborn, Inkster, Romulus ( DTW), Taylor, Downriver Area||Detroit River, Windsor, Ontario||Detroit River, Windsor, Ontario|
The cities of Hamtramck and Highland Park both lie entirely within the boundaries of the city of Detroit.
Detroit has seven sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International:
- Toyota, Japan
- Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- Turin, Italy
- Kitwe, Zambia
- Minsk, Belarus
- Nassau, Bahamas
- Chongqing, China
Detroit has a long and very close relationship with nearby: