A spiritual roadmap for saving our cities

A number of cities have been in the news lately as their residents struggle with weather- and war-related challenges. Among them are tsunami-ravaged Sendai, Japan; war-torn Tripoli, Libya; and the politically volatile Kabul, Afghanistan. There is also growing concern about economic tragedy, as many cities around the world continue to suffer the effects of the 2008 financial crisis. My hometown of Detroit is frequently mentioned. Once known as the thriving automotive capital of the world, lately it has been gaining increasing notoriety for its continual decline.

Following the recent census, which showed how drastically Detroit has shrunk in the past ten years, an article in The Wall Street Journal, by William McGurn, compared its plight to that of the devastation in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina and the earthquake that struck northeastern Japan. “In Detroit, of course, we do not see lives being lost to an angry and capricious Earth. But the human wreckage is there all the same—the consequence of crime, strangled opportunity, and lives without hope” (“A Requiem for Detroit,” March 29, 2011).

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