In-depth reporting on Michigan's largest city and surrounding communities, including deep dives into the big changes afoot in Detroit, its schools, neighborhoods, institutions and city hall.


Detroit fire union drops 50-year battle to keep seniority-only promotions

July 29, 2014 | Bill McGraw

The DFD’s current system is 128 years old and resisted change for decades, but bankruptcy was able to overturn what the city’s mayors couldn’t.

Can Detroit pay its bills after bankruptcy?

July 24, 2014 | Mike Wilkinson

High taxes, low wages, yet the City of Detroit still drowns in debt. Here’s why the city faces long odds even after shedding bankruptcy debt.

Giving Detroiters a tax break

July 24, 2014 | Mike Wilkinson

Bankruptcy could offer an opportunity to trim taxes for the city’s beleaguered residents, who pay some of the highest income, utility and property taxes in the state.

Detroit taxes friendlier to businesses than to residents

July 24, 2014 | Mike Wilkinson

Detroit is in the middle of the pack among the 51 international cities studied for how much of a tax burden they place on businesses.

Duggan donor database: Big-time, Super PAC money comes to Motown

July 22, 2014 | Sandra Svoboda

Who gave Mayor Duggan $1 million? A Detroit Journalism Cooperative donation database answers this question and others.

New private Duggan fund to support 'Detroit’s agenda'

July 22, 2014 | Sandra Svoboda, Mike Wilkinson

Mayor Kilpatrick’s civic fund helped put him in prison. Gov. Snyder’s NERD fund brought only regret. But Mayor Duggan says his fund will be different.

Is Detroit’s financial oversight board too big to succeed?

July 10, 2014 | Chastity Pratt

The state-created board may be larger than necessary, but it has the funding to run its own numbers, rather than relying on the city to turn over information.

VIDEO: How is Detroit's public transportation doing under Duggan?

June 26, 2014 | Bridge Staff

How are Detroit's buses running these days? We asked the people who depend on them day after day.

Mike Duggan and the selling of Detroit 2014

June 26, 2014 | Mike Wilkinson

Set a goal, control the numbers, trumpet the results. That’s been Mike Duggan’s leadership playbook for two decades. Has he pushed his luck with Detroit?

Benchmark: Public safety

June 26, 2014 | Sarah Hulett

Should we stay or should we go? A reporter’s notebook on living with crime in Detroit.

Benchmark: Schools

June 26, 2014 | Sarah Cwiek

Detroit’s patchwork of traditional public and charter schools can be confusing to parents looking for a good fit. The resulting chaos led a group of parents to share information on promising schools.

Benchmark Detroit: Six months later

June 24, 2014 | Mike Wilkinson

Optimism is beginning to percolate across much of the city, as a can-do mayor attempts to make good on bold promises. Hard numbers are more difficult to come by.

Benchmark: Jobs

June 24, 2014 | Rick Haglund

In Detroit, there are stirrings of job growth in the usual places, but data is still scant on improving prospects for most city residents.

Benchmark: City services

June 24, 2014 | Lester Graham

Mayor Duggan promised progress on lights, blight and buses and, by his office’s own count at least, there is progress.

Benchmark: Livability

June 24, 2014 | Nancy Derringer

A city’s quality of life can be hard to define, but a few steps forward could give Detroit residents a warm feeling about the future.

Even with limited powers, Duggan in control

June 24, 2014 | Lester Graham

Six months in, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan is focused intently on improving city services, selling himself to residents and consolidating power within the bankrupt city. Can the honeymoon last?

State should send help to Detroit, Michigan voters say

May 13, 2014 | Nancy Derringer

Putting aside deep concerns about Detroit’s path, Michigan voters say the city’s recovery is too important to state’s future to ignore. Bipartisan majorities support state funding to help Detroit retirees and save DIA art.

In Hillsdale, crumbling streets but support for fixing state’s 'eyesore'

May 13, 2014 | Ron French

Like small communities across Michigan, Hillsdale is quietly laying off police, reducing services and watching its roads fall to pieces. And yet, there is support for state aid to Michigan’s largest city.

Dennis Archer: Supporting Detroit benefits entire state

May 13, 2014 | Ron French

Detroit’s former mayor argues that the city’s negative image brings down all of Michigan – even hundreds of miles away.