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.


Can Detroit businesses survive city’s push for walkable neighborhoods?

October 17, 2019 | Darren A. Nichols

Mayor Mike Duggan wants to make seven neighborhoods more walkable. But the first project, along the Avenue of Fashion, is months behind schedule and businesses are closing.

In a changing Detroit, footpaths are vanishing across vast, empty lands

October 4, 2019 | Joel Kurth

The University of Michigan has mapped 5,200 footpaths through Detroit. The author of the study says it’s a valuable planning tool. But one critic calls it ‘poverty porn.’

Wayne County’s tired jail deputies work double shifts at low pay. Wanna apply?

September 24, 2019 | Joel Kurth

Michigan’s largest county is perpetually short of officers to guard jail inmates that critics contend shouldn’t be incarcerated in the first place. ‘It’s a screwed up system,’ a sheriff’s official admits.

Detroit Police opt for safety over privacy, as facial recognition approved

September 20, 2019 | Kyla Smith

After months of controversy, a police oversight board approves the use of facial recognition technology in Detroit, as some other cities nationwide prohibit it over accuracy and privacy concerns.

Ossian Sweet defied segregation. Now his Detroit home will be a museum.

September 17, 2019 | Kyla Smith

The black doctor stood up to a white mob upset that he moved into their neighborhood, igniting one of the most important –  and incendiary – housing discrimination cases in history. A fundraising effort is underway to make his former home a museum.

E-scooters are fast, unregulated and all over Detroit. What could go wrong?

September 16, 2019 | Michael Jackman

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan invited scooter companies to set up shop last year. Now, the city and others in Michigan are grappling with the consequences.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan claimed scooter injuries are ‘BS.’ They’re not.

September 16, 2019 | Michael Jackman

 New research says e-scooters, whose riders frequently don’t wear helmets, are causing a head injury ‘epidemic’ nationwide. One Detroit emergency room alone treats 10-20 injured riders per month.

After a year, safe drinking water is flowing again at Detroit schools

August 30, 2019 | Lori Higgins

Detroit’s public district returns a back-to-school essential most take for granted: running water. Last year, schools shut the tap after the discovery of lead and copper.

Detroit shut off water to 11,800 homes this year. Most are still off.

August 19, 2019 | Joel Kurth

Records show 62 percent of Detroit residential shutoffs were without service as of Aug. 1. The vast majority had gone a week or more, contradicting claims that the city restores nearly all water within 48 hours.

How to get help with Detroit water payments and avoid shutoffs

August 19, 2019 | Joel Kurth

Every year, thousands of Detroit customers are disconnected for nonpayment. Many resources exist for help. Here is what is available.

As the forest moves back in, pollen is on the rise in Detroit

August 16, 2019 | Lucas Joel

For the first time, researchers are pinpointing where pollen levels are the highest to help residents with allergies and asthma protect themselves.

Can Mike Duggan demolish his way to a safer Detroit? Studies say maybe

August 12, 2019 | Robin Erb

Two studies suggest homicides and aggravated assaults in Detroit dropped more in areas with moderate demolitions. The research, while inconclusive, comes as the mayor prepares to ask voters for more money for the demo blitz.

Detroit police chief defends new facial recognition policy; protests continue

August 1, 2019 | Chastity Pratt

Detroit Police Commission could vote in two weeks on controversial surveillance policy.  

Detroit battle over video surveillance reaches fever pitch as crime falls

July 15, 2019 | Chastity Pratt

An emotional battle over facial recognition software has come to Detroit, one of the nation’s most violent cities, amid questions over the technology’s racial bias.

The University of Michigan invested big in Detroit. Now come the evictions.

July 12, 2019 | Sarah Alvarez

U-M’s endowment’s investment in a firm that buys and renovates tax-foreclosed homes in Detroit is prompting evictions and big equity questions in a rapidly changing city. 

Michigan desperate for Pre-K educators. And pays them poverty wages.

June 19, 2019 | Koby Levin

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s plans for free preschool for all 4-year-olds depends on attracting more qualified teachers. That may be difficult since many make less than workers at McDonald’s.

Thanks for making Detroit cool, artists. Here’s your eviction.

June 18, 2019 | Joel Kurth

As rising rents displace artists in Detroit, an ownership change and evictions at the onetime headquarters of the Grand River Creative Corridor sparks a debate about gentrification.

Bridge-linked documentary on Detroit’s 1967 uprising hits Amazon Prime

June 13, 2019 | Bridge Staff

'12th and Clairmount' uses the words and home videos of black and white Detroiters to describe the combustible race relations that stoked the violence, leaving 43 people dead and entire neighborhoods in ruin.

Whites get half of mortgages in Detroit, nation’s largest majority black city

June 13, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson

Detroit’s mortgage market is back, but mortgages are disproportionately going to whites. Blacks are buying in suburbs instead. ‘It looks like they’ve given up’ on Detroit, one Realtor says.

Opinion | Detroit is booming. Too bad residents aren’t getting the jobs.

June 13, 2019 | Gary Sands

In five years, 31,000 jobs have been created in Detroit. But fewer residents are employed. The data suggests concerns over benefits of economic development initiatives are largely justified.