Flint is an industrial city an hour northwest of Detroit in Michigan. It was the home of many General Motors factories, including the Buick World Headquarters, Flint has fallen on hard times over the past 30 years due to the decline of the American automotive industry. Despite these misfortunes, the city has an outsized history, including decisive roles in the growth of the American labor movement and community schooling and evident in a host of extensive and well-endowed cultural institutions. Flint has seen a dramatic reduction in crime while simultaneously enjoying a revitalizing Downtown and growing colleges and universities are found within the city's limits.
Sometimes considered a suburb of Detroit, Flint is more accurately described as a "satellite" city. Like Saginaw, Pontiac, and other factory towns in Michigan, Flint's identity is often influenced and predicted by the Motor City and the peaks and valleys of the American auto industry. Because these cities and Flint have become symbols of urban blight and economic ruin, it is tempting to write them off at the worst as ghost-towns, or at the best as smaller clones of Detroit. In fact, each city is regionally distinct, both in terms of the local institutions they have raised in times of prosperity and crisis, and in the emphasis of civic response.
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