A Tale of Two Cities: Free Essay about Chicago and Detroit

Published: 2022-09-19
A Tale of Two Cities: Free Essay about Chicago and Detroit
Type of paper:  Critical thinking
Categories:  Architecture
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 632 words
6 min read

Different cities have suffered different fates when it comes to the rejuvenation and development of their downtowns. Some downtowns in the United States of America have over time become dead or partially evacuated whereas the other cities have downtowns which manifest a great extent of vigor and portray a greater sense of life. From my experience and my knowledge of certain cities in the US, I would use the two cities of Chicago and Detroit to illustrate the contrast. Chicago downtown is colorful and actively occupied whereas the Detroit downtown is characterized by dull and often deserted area with vacant stalls and shops.The Chicago downtown is so much alive compared to other parts of the city.chicago city has a population of about 2.8 million people. The Chicago downtown has often been cherished and preserved as a cultural center. The downtown continually hosts various lively art galleries. There are both small-scale businesses as well as large business companies in Chicago downtown. People with different financial backgrounds can, therefore, visit the various business ventures (Wagner, 2014). The downtown is also home to various restaurants with vast areas for parking. There is an advanced network of transport system within this part of the city, with the availability of buses for public transport. The rich heritage and diversity make Chicago downtown more prestigious and lively.

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The liveliness of the Chicago's downtown has been attributed to the fact that it has become a battleground for the digital economy, with the hi-tech companies emerging. The improvement of the transport system has been another contributing factor to the betterment of the Chicago downtown. The fact that the railway transport system has been replaced by the buses has made it more efficient for people to commute within the downtown. The maintenance and management of the city's historical and cultural cite is another major distributing factor to the rejuvenation of the downtown area (Ellickson, 2012).

Detroit downtown several neglected vacant buildings with empty stalls. The storefronts are mainly vacant. At one point, the city played home to the several manufacturing industries which have recently gone down the drains leading to the loss of jobs for different people. Due to vandalism and theft for copper bulbs, most of the streets lights are not functional in this part of the city. Detroit downtown is therefore dark and abandoned at nights (Eisinger, 2014).

The planning of the Detroit downtown was abysmal to the extent that it could not withstand the slightest of turbulence.it was never cared how the city looked, with the dingy appearance of a railway network. The Detroit street scrapes are unbearable, with fewer trees or other forms of landscaping (Eisinger, 2014). The corridors within the Detroit streets are never pedestrian friendly. The corruption in the government is another factor which is likely to have contributed to the death of Detroit. Poor governance has led to the rise in vices such as theft which makes the downtown to be unfriendly in the late hours. The fact that there are high cases of joblessness in the region might have been contributed to by the lack of proper governance.

In conclusion, it is right to note that the two cities Chicago and Detroit have different types of downtowns, the difference is brought about by the various factors, with the lively Chicago downtown being associated with proper management and planning. Detroit, on the other hand, is affected by poor governance as well as poor management and planning.


Eisinger, P. (2014). Is detroit dead?. Journal of Urban Affairs, 36(1), 1-12.

Ellickson, R. C. (2012). The law and economics of street layouts: How a grid pattern benefits a downtown. Ala. L. Rev., 64, 463.

Wagner, P. (2014). New life for American Downtowns? The 1958 international seminar on urban renewal and the travel of planning ideas in the North Atlantic World. Planning Perspectives, 29(2), 189-208.

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