19 March 2009

Detroit Abandoned

The story of Detroit's decline is told in pictures.

Detroit has immense excess supplies of buildings and furnishings. But, the owners of these assets have abandoned them, because they no longer have economic value even as great as their maintenance costs. The land isn't even worth enough to scrape clean of abandoned buildings on it either (and while toxic waste cleanup risks are present in a small minority of buildings, it is minimal economic value and not environmental laws that explain why the other now useless buildings aren't at least scraped).

There are limits to the value of land and physical capital. Economic prosperity ultimately comes down to what people do in a place. Abundant natural resources and supplies of physical capital are far down the list of things important to economic development and prosperity. Many places awash with natural resources are poor. Many places with almost no natural resources are rich.

3 comments:

Edward said...

As if I care about Detroit.

Much more at http://www.newgeography.com/
and
http://globaleconomydoesmatter.blogspot.com/

Detroit:
1. is a cesspool of poor people
2. has lousy weather
3. had high taxes (state & local)
4. is/was centered around dying companies (e.g. Ford, GM, Chrysler)
5. is a brownfield and not a greenfield

Dave Barnes said...

Edward is innocent.
For some reason, I was logged into his account.
Very strange.

I, Dave Barnes, stand by my comment about the dead and dying Motor City.

Andrew Oh-Willeke said...

Edward is absolved then.