Zone 8 – USA
Detroit's decline can be traced back to the late 1950's with the development of suburbs and a progressive exodus out of the city. Detroit was once an industrial powerhouse with an economy that centred around the production of the automobile with a population that climaxed at 1.8 million.
In the year 2000 Detroit's population fell below 1 million. Today it has less than 700,000 residents living among tens of thousands of abandoned buildings, vacant lots, and unlit streets after decades of decay. In 2013 the city became the largest municipality in US history to file for bankruptcy with an estimated debt of $18-20 billion.
Like too many in the city of Detroit, the neighbourhood known as Zone 8 (named after the zipcode 48208 to which it belongs) is plagued by crime, drugs, and almost complete lack of work opportunities for its residents. Like Detroit as a whole, the area was once a thriving community with shops that attracted people from all over the city. Today aside from a few liquor stores and gas stations there are very few businesses and those that do exist are not run by local residents.
Among those who have held on and remained despite the downfall of their city and their neighbourhood, a shred of hope still remains that the vibrancy will return as other small sections of Detroit experience a comeback. The question is whether pending gentrification will have respect for those who have made it through the thick and thin.
Photographs taken between 2011 and 2016.