How does one get lost in Sterling Heights? The city, after all, is laid out in a very simple, very logically labeled grid of roads. The problem is that the landscape, if you could call it that, is so thoroughly paved and homogenous that nothing stands out.
Google Maps identifies the marker below as the “center” of the city. To the SW of the marker are Chrysler’s Sterling Stamping and (now-defunct) Assembly Plants, a building complex which covers nearly 300 acres. To the NE is Sunnybrook Golf Club. To the immediate NE is a strip mall containing a Burlington Coat Factory and Rite Aid and to the SE is another parking lot with a restaurant and sleep disorders clinic. Off the main roads are many neighborhoods of single-family homes.
As we drove around, I wondered what would become of a place like Sterling Heights, the 4th largest city in Michigan, after cheap oil runs out. Can a place like this possibly be repaired for human-sized use or will it be largely abandoned decades from now as people leave in search of greener pastures?
|16 Mile and Van Dyke Ave. (Google Maps)|