Up until 2011, things weren’t looking too hot for downtown Detroit. Even then, if you look at development now vs. how dense the building used to be, the difference is astonishing.

This video uses a series of maps to highlight the fact that the center of the city started out quite dense, like you would expect big cities to be – then through a series of demolitions, reconfigurations, and of course, the decimation the freeways caused – turned into the downtown that although buildings are starting to get retail tenants still does not resemble the activity and density of yesteryear.

All maps have been drawn by Conrad Kickert or his graduate assistants at the University of Michigan and the University of Cincinnati.

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