About six months ago, Mark Siwak decided to save Detroit.
He didn’t have millions of dollars to pump into the crumbling metropolis; what he had was a unique idea. “I thought, What do we have around here? A lot of abandoned buildings, blight, neighborhoods that are completely devastated,” says the 40-year-old financial manager, who works in Detroit and lives in Royal Oak, Michigan…Siwak and his friends want to build a theme park in an abandoned neighborhood and throw open the doors to international zombie-survivalist fans. Siwak thinks people will pay good money to get chased around in the dead of night by a pack of undead droolers. In perhaps the weirdest revitalization scheme yet, he says the park’s popularity would help attract new businesses like hotels to the struggling city.
I think it shows great moxie to want to tap into a cultural zeitgeist to revitalize a city- but this strikes me as borderline offensive— like torture porn, or slum tourism. I’m not formulating my thoughts well, but am I off the mark here?