Detroit, Feature for SWR

Motown - Ghost Town -- Boom Town. This would be a good description for the development of Detroit. For decades, the auto makers Ford, GM and Chrysler made the city world famous for its big, powerful cars. The decline began during the 1950s, when shopping malls and suburban growth on cheap land lured the white middle class away from the inner city. The 1960s brought violent race riots, and during the 1970s, an oil crisis and Japanese economy cars dealt a blow to the car industry. Unemployment grew, and during the 1980s, Detroit was on the verge of becoming a ghost town. The former industrial stronghold was considered a symbol of the decay of American cities and continually made headlines for its high crime rate. Since then, however, Detroit has started a dramatic comeback as a role model for crisis management with culture in a pivotal role, as Georg Hirsch reports.

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