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Toronto and the Rust Belt/Manufacturing Belt

The dearth of metropolitan areas and amalgamations in the US has always been curious to me. I don't know if it is a cultural thing or there are legal impediments to them.

I think their local governments is less explicitly "creatures of the province" than we are (I think it varies from state to state); I think a good number of them are also more financially independent on the state as well, which removes another lever.

Also I can imagine amalgamations would be even more unpopular than here given the level of polarization between the inner city and the burbs.

Just take a cab from the VIA station to downtown Niagara Falls and you see the decline and downtrodden area. Makes me want to whistle Allen Town.


Downtown Niagara is located in the wrong place - out of the way and unable to capitalize tourism. Having said that - the entire stretch is pretty poorly planned out, with so much wasted potential. Massive parking lots/garages, poor street level integration lead to non-existent urban engagement.

AoD
 
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Detroit has a similar land area to the City of Toronto without Etobicoke and Scarborough.

The land area is more correlative than causative.

In the case of Detroit, many people and businesses were able to stay close to where they wanted to be, specifically to Detroit, but avoid paying any taxes to same.

The absence of large, more regional government didn't merely deprive the City of Detroit of funds, it also deprive it (and many of the smaller communities, many of which were not affluent) of cost-sharing.

Detroit for years has lacked public transit to many parts of its greater community, and has no commuter rails system at all.

That isn't necessarily a function of the land area of Detroit per se, but there is a relationship in terms of shared interest, shared revenue and shared cost; and better/worse outcomes.

Again, lets add, Detroit's problems, and those of Cleveland and Buffalo are certainly about more than local government organization.

Its merely that the latter was at best, not helpful and at worst compounded other problems.
 
Detroit's employment base has always been dispersed in industrial uses which does not lend well to public transit anyway. The downtown has never been the major employment centre to the extent other downtowns are in other similar size metros, especially since Ford is still based in Dearborn and doesn't have a large downtown office presence.

I mean Detroit is also literally the "Motor City". Is it a surprise it's built for the car?

Cleveland and Buffalo are better built for public transit, and you see that in that they have actual rail subway networks (even if Cleveland's runs on bare bones frequencies, it does have a metro line and several LRT lines).

Most of their problems are related to white flight and suburbanization that occurred in cities with flatlining populations which meant that the old inner city spaces weren't backfilled with population growth.

Like most of the US though these cities are experiencing reinvestment in the inner city again and the latest US census is showing early indicators that the Rust Belt has started to grow again at faster rates than seen in decades (though growth still pales to the sunbelt).
 
Detroit's employment base has always been dispersed in industrial uses which does not lend well to public transit anyway. The downtown has never been the major employment centre to the extent other downtowns are in other similar size metros, especially since Ford is still based in Dearborn and doesn't have a large downtown office presence.

I mean Detroit is also literally the "Motor City". Is it a surprise it's built for the car?

Cleveland and Buffalo are better built for public transit, and you see that in that they have actual rail subway networks (even if Cleveland's runs on bare bones frequencies, it does have a metro line and several LRT lines).

Most of their problems are related to white flight and suburbanization that occurred in cities with flatlining populations which meant that the old inner city spaces weren't backfilled with population growth.

Like most of the US though these cities are experiencing reinvestment in the inner city again and the latest US census is showing early indicators that the Rust Belt has started to grow again at faster rates than seen in decades (though growth still pales to the sunbelt).

Uhhh....

Detroit had an extensive streetcar network that was well used before WWII; a vibrant downtown; and many of the auto plants were in Detroit proper at that point.

The factories moved.



There were lots more; plus the plants in Hamtramck and Highland Park which are functionally within Detroit.

***

The City actually still has car production in the proper City, though much less than it use to, obviously.

 
I'm aware of the streetcar network, but it mostly dates from the pre-automotive era. Streetcar ridership declined faster in Detroit faster than most other cities.

Packard worked back then but it's not really downtown - which was my point originally as to why services like Commuter Rail don't work as they rely on dense levels of employment in the core.

Detroit is in no way a city to emulate - I'm just explaining the history and why it is the way it is.

There is a whole lot of racism thrown in there too which caused issues too.
 
Detroit ca. 1940 probably had the most prosperous working class in the world at the time. Cars were accessible to the masses earlier - hence the auto-oriented development.

When working class people in most eastern cities were still living in apartments and rowhouses, their equivalents in Detroit lived in spacious SFHs with a car in the driveway.

Ironically part of the reason for Detroit's abandonment was prosperity not decline. High wages allowed working class people to move into sprawl.
 
The dearth of metropolitan areas and amalgamations in the US has always been curious to me. I don't know if it is a cultural thing or there are legal impediments to them.
Answer to this is quite simple actually. Wealthier municipalities didn't want to share schools and education resources with poorer (often racialized) municipalities. Education in most States is largely funded by property taxes. Therefore there is no appetite for amalgamations.
 
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