The U.S. suffers from staggering economic inequality — as staggering, in some places, as Nigeria, El Salvador and the Dominican Republic. Richard Florida ran the numbers and compared cities in the U.S. to highly unequal foreign countries. That colorful map might look pretty, but its implications for U.S. income inequality are not.
If vacant lots were painted red, an aerial view of Detroit would look like a bad case of the measles. There is so much empty land today within Detroit’s 139 square miles — land slowly returning to nature with no buildings — the city of Paris could fit inside. If all that land were gathered into football fields, Detroit could host 25,000 simultaneous games.