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John Mogk discusses Detroit's rebound on NPR show

May 14, 2013

Detroit's population has fallen to 700,000 - less than half of what it was in the 1950s. The glut of foreclosures and vacant lots has sapped the tax base, and the official unemployment rate of 10.2 percent masks a deeper long-term job crisis. "Detroit is on the rebound downtown," says John Mogk who teaches law and urban policy at Wayne State University. "And it is reinventing itself downtown. And that's filtering out to some of the neighborhoods that are immediately adjacent to downtown. But that represents a very small part, in the case of Detroit, of a very large geographic area." He says development can only happen on a large scale if the city can clear out big parcels of land for rebuilding. "…We need some large, existing corporations to come in and be willing to locate new facilities in the city, because there is just so much land area that needs to be returned to productive use," he says.