Detroit was a booming city in its prime. During the 1950’s, they were the 10th most populated city in the nation with 1.8 million inhabitants. In 2010, that number had dropped to a mere 40% (700,000) of its former glory. This decline resulted in extreme urban decay. With tens of thousands of empty homes, apartments, and commercial buildings throughout the city, there is no wondering as to why the violent crime is amongst the highest in the nation. At over 3 times the national average and a 70% failure rate of solving murders, 2012 marked the 4th consecutive year that Detroit earned the title of ‘Most Dangerous City In America’. In 2011, more than half of the property owners in Detroit failed to pay their taxes, which added to the city’s inability to provide municipal services to the city’s residents. In a particular 77 block area, it was found that only 1 owner had paid taxes that year. To try to regain some control and provide better services, residents of minimally populated areas were encouraged to move to more densely populated areas. On December 3, 2013, Detroit was declared bankrupt with an $18.5 billion debt. This depressing story of the decline of Detroit doesn’t make much of an impact to most, as all they see is a bunch of words and numbers that allow them to remain emotionally unattached. The following photos will get you in touch with your humanity as they powerfully illustrate the deterioration of Detroit as seen by Google maps over a relatively short period.
8153 Bryden Street: 2009-2013
2009: Looks like a nice home.
2011: Everything is overgrown, and some type of an explosion or fire has destroyed the home.
2013: Nothing but weeds and the charred remains of what was once someone’s home.
19532 Hoyt Avenue: 2008-2013
2008: A suitable home.
2009: Things deteriorated quickly.
2011: More destruction and trash.
2013: Now, not even the house remains.
19553 & 19555 Hickory Street: 2008-2013
2008: Windows are boarded up and things look pretty bad.
2011: There is hope for this neighborhood. Someone is taking care of the property on the left, but what about the one on the right?
2013: Looks like that was a false hope.
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