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Cities

Ghosts Of Detroit

By Erick Schonfeld

What draws creative types to Detroit? It’s all the possibilities. I got a tour of the city yesterday from Jerry Paffendorf, a local resident and entrepreneur I met on Twitter. Paffendorf is the co-founder of Loveland Technologies, a startup with grand ambitions to help citizens reclaim their neighborhoods and redevelop plots of land.

He picked me up at my hotel and drove me around the abandoned lots and buildings that are everywhere. But where others might see a barren landscape, he sees inspiration. He sees the ghosts of Henry Ford and other industrial age innovators who turned Detroit into one of the most vibrant American cities of the last century. In the video above, he explains why he left New York City and Silicon Valley for Detroit.

For complete coverage of the September 12, 2012, Techonomy Detroit conference, click here.

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4 Responses to “Ghosts Of Detroit”

  1. David Mieksztyn says:

    Nice, trying to describe to people what they cannot comprehend at the moment. And that’s just regarding technology, let alone Detroit as a whole. The blank stares I get when I say I work in Detroit, the dispatches I send back to the suburbs that there are restaurants and shops and what have you.

  2. Eno Laget says:

    so, your shotgun rider kept you in his gunsight while you eloquently cleared your throat for 1:32 on Forest. Then what happened? Did he buy some kicks on that corner?

  3. it was really nice to connect over twitter like that and go cruising around, eric. i’m sorry i couldn’t make the conference but hope you had a great trip overall. please spread the word about the marriage of pixels and atoms that’s juuust beginning to grow in sunny olde de-twa, and stay in touch.

  4. Thanks for showing me around, Jerry. You really opened my eyes to the possibilities for both citizens and startups in Detroit.

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