This is Detroit?! 14 images you won’t believe were taken in a city

Detroit’s population declined a staggering 63% since peaking at 1.9 million in the 1950s.

The exodus to the suburbs turned city blocks into urban prairies, attracting fox, pheasants and even deer.

The large swaths of vacant land have swallowed signs of human activity. Downed power lines, discarded tires and old signs are covered in brush.

The land’s future is unclear. It’s predominately owned by the city, which continues to lose residents.

All photos are by Steve Neavling.

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Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.

  • Just came on to your site because of the Gross Pte story, really impressed. How do find your stories? I have blog, and would like to do some ground breaking original journo wrk like you do.

    • Best bet is to email Steve at sneavling 🙂

  • Wolve Rine

    Ha, ha, ha! Life After People in Detroit.
    If you think it’s bad now, wait until after the dollar collapses or
    EBT(welfare) cards are unusable for an extended period of time.
    Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.

  • Cynthia Johnson

    I love what you do. Keep up the good work.

  • tb556

    Hopefully someday they clean out the trash, abate it from the city, so there aren’t horrible property taxes, and rebuild the land with the county providing services.

  • Amanda Ellen Menard

    Hey, that boat is in my neighborhood! I was all like “Free boat? Heck yeah!” when I first moved in. Good thing I left it there for your viewing pleasure!

  • David Bryndal

    please dont degenerate this site into buzzfeed and their endless 13 Things you must see before you die! (you won’t believe what these kids can do) type crappy titles, I like reading this site.
    Like these:

  • Big City Blonde

    I came here to read some dirt on The Cush but instead was pleasantly surprised with these beautiful photos. Being an amateur photog (very amateur!) I too love to find the beauty in the least attractive places. Proves the point I tell people when I go gallivanting in the city…You just have to look and you’ll see… Thanks for the great pics Steve!!

  • Bruce Channell

    I like how the COD spent $ on the red bumps placed at the end of a sidewalk in a neighborhood with no pedestrians on residents…..

    • Rap Stallion

      even if there was a pedestrian to make use of the dots, the only time they are useful is in the winter. there is no way that sidewalk ever gets cleared. the dots should be in the road where the pedestrians are walking.

      • 108stitches

        The ‘red bumps’ are ADA required for the blind to know when they’ve reached the end of the sidewalk and are about to enter a street.
        It is listed in the Detroit Dept of Public Works “ADA Ramp and Sidewalk Requirements” as “The ramp shall have a detectable warning surface that spreads the full width of the ramp.”

        • Bruce Channell

          I can understand them being in a viable,pedestrian filled, neighborhood.However,I do not understand the spending of taxpayer dollars for something that will never be used because everyone in the COD no longer walks on the sidewalk because of various reasons,one of which,during the Michigan winters, there is no one to shovel the snow off of them.

    • Smartest OneHere

      I also wondered about it and found out that there is a Federal law that required every intersection to have those bump mats–or whatever they are called. Otherwise the city could be fined.

  • bebow

    I’m liking the new look and hoping it arrives in my neighborhood soon.