The industrial Midwest has been on a decline for the past four decades. Many companies have left Southeastern Michigan to produce goods elsewhere. When these companies moved their operations to other cities, much of the population in the region moved also. These people left to seek job opportunities in other urban areas. When industries and people leave an area, the infrastructure is often left behind. Buildings, land, and infrastructure remain vacant in Detroit +because of this exodus from the region. The framework of the region largely resembles the period before Detroit was incorporated as a city aside from the infrastructure that has been left behind. The availability of existing infrastructure coupled with the new capabilities of the Halifax Port in Nova Scotia Canada, offers Detroit the opportunity to transform the region into an international shipping hub. The Great Lakes Global Freight Gateway Project is a program that will utilize these vacant assets to create an inland port in Detroit and to promote global trade from the Midwest (GLFG3, 3:33/8:46). This essay is going to show how the Great Lakes Global Freight Gateway Project can restore economic vitality to the region and provide growth opportunities for all stakeholders.
The United States economy has shifted from being predominately manufacturing based to being largely serviced based. In contrast, Detroit’s economy is still based on manufacturing. Manufacturing jobs have been on a steady decline for more than 40 years. Repositioning Detroit from a manufacturing only industry to a manufacturing and transcontinental shipping industry can open new revenue possibilities for stakeholders in the region.
When manufacturing jobs left the region, large amounts of the population followed. Detroit’s population peaked in the 1950s with more than two million residences in the region (Mc, Pg. 12). This growth period contributed to the clustering of various economic activities around manufacturing (Mc, Pg. 66). These clusters of economic activities still exist today, however the population has declined to pre-1920s levels and the economic growth of the region is stagnant. The population that remains are largely from the manufacturing sector and have the necessary skill set to be reemployed in the shipping industry (Mc, Pg. 44). The Great Lakes Global Freight Gateway project can promote growth in the region by reutilizing the same regional assets that were available in the past for new purposes.
Nearly half of the nation was formed between 1790 and 1860. Innovations in the productions of goods and services coupled with the transportation revolution led to rapid urbanization (MC, Pg. 56). In Southeastern Michigan, this urbanization took form in the 50 villages that developed during the pre-civil war years (EV1, 1:00/12:10). These villages were connected through a network of roads (EV2, 1:12/2:30). These roads were the basis for establishing rail lines and...