Penn Arts and Sciences

SSPF Director Keynotes Policy Conference, Sparks Discussion of Future of Post-Bankruptcy Detroit

SSPF director Thomas Sugrue has a lot of advice for Detroit as it grapples with bankruptcy. He warned against "trickle down urbanism," argued that the city cannot rely on an influx of hipsters and the "creative class" to spark revitalization, and told Detroit policymakers to build on the city's strengths, especially health care, education, and public employment.

Sugrue's views about the city's future were featured in the Detroit Free Press and Forbes, and in radio, newspaper, and television interviews. On February 27, Sugrue presented the keynote address to more than 800 people at the Detroit Policy Conference, sponsored by the Detroit Regional Chamber.

Sugrue's engagement with Detroit comes at a crucial moment in the city's history. Over the last week, Detroit's Emergency Manager submitted a plan to resolve the city's bankruptcy. Detroit Future City, the city's leading planning organization, announced its plans to demolish blighted properties and lay the groundwork for the city's revitalization. And Detroit's newly elected mayor, Mike Duggan, gave his first major policy address.

Sugrue is David Boies Professor of History and Sociology, and author of the prize-winning book, The Origins of the Urban Crisis.

© 2018 The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania