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.


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.

Meet Detroit’s creditors

March 27, 2014 | Mike Wilkinson

Detroit owes thousands of people, businesses and banks roughly $18 billion. Does it owe you? Scan the Bridge database for the names of city creditors and what they’re due.

Detroit creditor winners and losers

March 27, 2014 | Mike Wilkinson

A bankruptcy judge has yet to sign off on Detroit’s proposal for paying thousands of creditors. But there are signs of who is likely to benefit most when the bankruptcy dust settles.

Shinola’s place in Detroit’s future

March 27, 2014 | Alexander Moroz

Jacques Panis, president of the Detroit watch and bicycle maker, offers a wish list of businesses he’d like to see in Detroit.

Graffiti’s role in the revival of Michigan cities

March 20, 2014 | Nancy Derringer

Across Michigan, the writing’s on the wall. How you feel about graffiti depends on your age, your attitude, and whether you mind spray paint in an urban landscape.

A choice for cities: Destroy graffiti or restrict it

March 20, 2014 | Nancy Derringer

Some cities now have safe zones for legal graffiti in a bid to contain it. Whether graffiti writers will comply is another question.

Michigan Radio: Being broke makes Detroit get creative

March 10, 2014 | Lester Graham

For Detroit, municipal bankruptcy has made the world aware of what Michigan already knew: Detroit is broke. No matter how it turns out, bankruptcy is not going to change things very quickly. Detroit will still be broke. Lester Graham with Michigan Watch reports that’s going to force the city to get creative.

All eyes on Belle Isle as state takes control

February 5, 2014 | Nancy Derringer

As Detroit’s historic island park transitions to state control, upgrades are being watched closely by city residents, including many who remain wary of the motives of state government.

Detroit’s bankruptcy has Skillman Foundation rethinking investments

February 5, 2014 | Eddie B. Allen Jr.

Bridge has a Q-and-A with new Skillman chief Tonya Allen, who talks about the challenges facing her hometown.

DPTV: Detroit Journalism Cooperative

January 31, 2014 | MiWeek/Detroit Public TV

MiWeek host Christy McDonald takes a look at the Detroit Journalism Cooperative, a new partnership launched this week between non-profit media organizations throughout southeast Michigan, including DPTV.

Benchmark Detroit: Charting Detroit’s path from rock bottom

January 29, 2014 | Mike Wilkinson

Mayor Duggan vows to improve services in six months. We have broader ambitions – to mark where Detroit stands today on jobs, safety and other key measures, then hold leaders accountable in the year ahead.

Benchmark: City services

January 29, 2014 | Chastity Pratt

Detroit’s new mayor and City Council are taking ownership of fixing street lights, blight and bus service within six months. Can they succeed where others failed?