U Street Dirt has an interesting article comparing DC to Detroit. His blog posts are always thoughtful and thought provoking if I don’t always agree. This week he compares DC’s current boom to the boom years of Detroit 50 years ago. While I agree with his conclusions I am not sure if the comparison is apt. DC is a one industry town yes – government and its hangers on – but it is an industry that will need a fundamental change in work practices to wane. Unless Ron Paul is elected and starts dismantling the federal government – entirely possible for some Republican voters – DC will remain the seat of government and a necessary city.
Building on Dirt’s idea of booming, I would say the city went through what Detroit did and is now coming out of a malaise. After the 1968 riots, downtown was almost abandoned. It was not until the 1980s that downtown was rebuilt which is why you can see in all the 1980s architecture. U STreet did not come back until the late 1990s.
I think DC is benefiting from the continuing re-urbanization of America. If you don’t have kids, why do you need to live in an