Yesterday I made a 20mi / 32km bike trip in Detroit. From Hamtramck to Downtown and back. Traveling this distance by bike gives you a good sense of the vast scale of this city, although this distance is but a small fragment of the size of the entire Metropolitan area of Detroit.
View Biking the Motor City in a larger map
Where some of my initial thoughts on the derelict homes, factories, warehouses and skyscrapers were tainted by romanticism, now they're drained in the realization that this is an urban reality that is everywhere. An omnipresent sprawling landscape of destruction, generated by the rationality of hyper-capitalism. Fed by the misplaced escapism of the American dream, of starting over-and-over-and-over-and-over again in the suburbs, sub-suburbs, exurbs to the point that the notion of urbanity evaporates completely.
How to reinvent living together, 'a community' and perhaps even civilization on top of the ruins of the raison d'être of the previous one...