So yeah, 300 years in the making. From nothing in 1701, to bustling, to the exodus, and now one of the hottest, fastest growing areas in the country. Fifty years from now people will say “remember when” and we will remember the days when Detroit got a new lease on life.
The cool part is: Detroit really is in startup mode. Rapid growth, plans changing every day, in need of outside investment constantly, a giant blank canvas that will look completely different in a couple years… but nothing like you originally thought. Isn’t that just about the life of any startup?
And like a startup, you can almost do whatever the hell you want, only limited by creativeness. When I started Think 313, it was geared around crazy infectious ideas. What is crazy? How about this: I say tear out i375 and fill it with water! Let’s have a mile long (2 mile loop) walk with trees, benches, boat slips, kayaks and French-inspired bridges going over it. Let it be the inbound port into the city. New buildings lining it like central park.
This will be the greatest game of Sim City ever played. New York, Chicago and San Francisco, for example, are essentially handcuffed. They don’t have the space to do much on a massive scale. There is no mulligan for master planning. But Detroit has so much space, we can create a wonderland of whatever the hell we want. Ever see that post floating around showing how Detroit can fit Boston, San Francisco and Manhattan within its footprint? That is often shown with a negative note, but I say sweet! You don’t think San Francisco wishes they had a couple extra square miles to develop right now? For Detroit, we have enough space to create the greatest park and trail system in the country, endless urban farming, high-density residential homes WITH backyards, towering skyscrapers, a zoo in Detroit like Chicago has in Lincoln Park. It really is limitless because we have the land.
Have a crazy idea? Send it us to, we will post it up! We are only limited by creativity (and money but that’s another issue) so fire away with all your awesome ideas.
James Philip is an author, angel investor and serial entrepreneur with over a dozen brands under management. He is the founder of JMJ Phillip Holdings and Think313 and is a contributing writer for Thrive Global and MONEY Inc.