Michael Kimmelman of the New York Times has published an article about the 65,000 new streetlights now illuminating the streets of Detroit. This seemingly prosaic infrastructural adjustment actually has a lot of import. For a long time, according to the article, Detroit’s decline was symbolically represented in articles about its lights going out. “Like picking up the trash, fixing potholes and responding to emergencies, these efforts signal that no matter where you live in Detroit, you are no longer forgotten — that government here can finally keep its basic promises,” writes Kimmelman.
Rather than staying concentrated in the inner-city, like most capital and growth, the lights spread across Detroit’s entire 139 miles. Costing $185 million in public money, the lights use energy-efficient LED bulbs. And the whole project came together under budget and on time.