In 1950, Detroit was a vibrant city; the wealthiest in the nation. Now, despite all the efforts of many good people, the city has lost most of its population and is now the poorest, most dangerous, most run down city in America.
Detroit needs a game changer. The 982 acre island of Belle Isle can be that game changer for Detroit. The book Belle Isle is about that vision.
The setting is Belle Isle, 30 years in the future. Twenty nine years prior (2017), Belle Isle was sold by the city of Detroit for $1 billion dollars to a group of investors who believed in individual freedom, liberty and free markets.
They formed their own city-state, with innovative systems of government, taxation, labor and money. People soon came from all over the world to be part of this culture of unlimited opportunity. Belle Isle became the “Midwest Tiger,” rivaling Singapore as an economic miracle. Although numbering only 35,000 citizens, it generated billions of dollars in desperately needed economic growth and became a social laboratory for the western world.
Detroit shared in the genuine Renaissance. The large sum paid for Belle Isle was used to train Detroiters to fill the huge need for construction workers on Belle Isle and to pay for badly needed infrastructure on the Detroit side of the river. Beyond this, the construction of this remarkable new nation by private money provided years of economic boost for Detroit and Southeast Michigan, and the sparks generated by the fires of “can do” optimism and a new social pact jumped the river, causing factories and farms to be built in Detroit, restoring it to its former glory.
Big changes take big ideas, power arising from noble intent, and leaders of great vision and courage. It happened before with the birth of America. It can happen again.
All this is possible on Belle Isle.
Important Note: It has come to our attention that certain individuals or groups are soliciting “applications” and “application fees” for Belle Isle residence through the Internet and social media. These solicitations are a scam and are not associated with our project. Please be cautious; do not send money to any unverified entity.
The Belle Isle Vision
Rod Lockwood has written an amazing book. Belle Isle champions freedom and opportunity, the powers that attracted so many adventurous souls to America over the years.
When given the opportunity free from overbearing government regulations and restrictions, individuals will outperform the decisions made by bureaucrats. Nowhere is that more evident than in Rod Lockwood’s story of the transformation of Belle Isle.
As a non-American, I have to say that Rod Lockwood’s inspiring book has a relevance that reaches far beyond the borders of the USA. It has lessons for all of us living in any Western democracy, with its inevitable bureaucratic compromises and, often, its complacency.
Change requires us to think differently. Detroit has been changed by Cadillac, Woodward and Henry Ford in the past. Rod Lockwood’s vision and passion for Detroit and its citizens is the change we need for the future.
Your book paints a vivid picture of the impact the Belle Isle concept would have on individual lives and standards of living — both on the island and in the surrounding areas. Art, according to Aristotle, is supposed to consist of, “Life as it could be or ought to be.” In this sense, your book is most certainly art — the most effective medium for conveying concepts.
Monorail Tour of Belle Isle
Virtual Aerial Tour of Belle Isle