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Demolition Means Progress – Flint, Michigan, and the Fate of the American Metropolis - Chicago Scholarship Online
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Demolition Means Progress: Flint, Michigan, and the Fate of the American Metropolis

Andrew R. Highsmith


In 1997, executives from the General Motors Corporation (GM) announced plans to shutter a massive complex of automobile factories in the Rust Belt city of Flint, Michigan. Shortly after the plants closed, company officials placed signs around the facility that read, “Demolition Means Progress.” The signs suggested that the struggling city of Flint—GM’s birthplace and onetime manufacturing hub—could not move forward to civic greatness until the old plants met the wrecking ball. More than just a corporate slogan, GM’s phrase encapsulates the operating ethos of the nation’s metropolitan leader ... More

Keywords: Flint, Michigan, urban renewal, racial segregation, redlining, deindustrialization, rust belt, capitalism, suburbanization, African Americans

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9780226050058
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2016 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226251080.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Andrew R. Highsmith, author