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See Detroit’s urban decay through the years with Google Street View

Detroit is in bad shape – that’s not a secret. Grappling with bankruptcy and struggling to turn around, the city is also dealing with decaying infrastructure. But unless you live in Detroit or are a frequent visitor, you may not realize the scope of the urban decay. With Google Maps’ updated Street View, in which you can “time travel” to check out past images of several locations that date back to 2007, you can see how the once hustling-and-bustling street scenes of Detroit transformed over time.

Detroit is a city well-known for being the heart of America’s thriving automotive industry, as well as the birthplace of the soulful “Motown Sound” style of music, but the once proud city has been on a steady decline for more than four years – many historians say it’s been far longer. The economy has collapsed, and several homes and stores became abandoned when the jobless populace could no longer afford to live in the area. Those that decided to stay in Detroit were virtually powerless to prevent decay from overtaking their homes.

The Tumblr blog GooBing Detroit uses Street View to highlight the degradation of Detroit neighborhoods from 2009 to 2013. In that short window of time, you can see how foreclosure and insolvency have transformed the Motor City into an overgrown wasteland. Buildings, sidewalks, and streets are eroded by the ravages of times, and it seems like these images would be from long ago – sadly, that’s not the case.

Without strong financial support, the city of Detroit will likely to continue to decay, although there are abundant hints of a possible renaissance and many new economic opportunities. With Google Maps, you’ll be able to continue tracking the changes of this city, and perhaps one day we’ll be able to see a better timeline of the Moto City’s reconstruction efforts. Only time can tell.

 To view more past images of Detroit’s steady decline, visit the GooBing Detroit blog.

 (Via Imaging Resource)

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Chase Melvin
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Chase Melvin is a writer and native New Yorker. He graduated from LIU Brooklyn where he spent 3 years as the News and Photo…
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