Detroit’s Troubled Waters: Race, Politics, Bankruptcy, and Regionalism

To access this case, click here. To access the video supplement to this case, click here.

Detroit water protests

This decision-forcing case (which includes a video supplement) places students in Detroit during the city’s financial crisis and bankruptcy, events that set the stage for the controversial 2013-2014 negotiation to create a regional water system in greater Detroit. Set after an initial round of negotiations has collapsed, and a second effort is about to begin, the case challenges students to step into the shoes of the negotiating team, including the City of Detroit, three suburban counties, and the state of Michigan.

A video supplement provides critical background on the reasons for Detroit’s evolution as a majority-black city and the deterioration of its relationships with its majority-white suburbs, including racial discrimination, white flight, and economic disinvestment.