Commonwealth of Belle Isle

Zoot Suit in Detroit

Zoot Suit in Detroit – source Shorpy


An another addition to the crazy urban planning file, though probably less realistically going to happen than our last sojourn into Detroit…

In his book, titled “Belle Isle: Detroit’s Game Changer,” Rodney Lockwood, an executive with a successful Detroit-area real estate firm, outlines a very specific plan on how to develop the city-owned, uninhabited 928-acre island in the Detroit River, between U.S and Canadian waters.

Lockwood’s pitch is for a group of wealthy investors to buy the island from Detroit for $1 billion and “build a supercharged community with its own laws, customs, transportation systems, taxation and currency, transforming Belle Isle into the ‘Midwest Tiger,’ rivaling Singapore and Hong Kong as an economic miracle,” according to Lockwood’s website.

The island would then be developed into a city-state of about 35,000 people, complete with “its own laws customs and currency, under United States supervision as a Commonwealth.”

Belle Isle would be founded on the principles of limited government, “exceptional” aesthetics and “respect for all citizens,” Lockwood says. Citizens would be submit themselves to criminal background checks before moving to the island, and once there, would not pay any corporate or income taxes.

Lockwood imagines that people would immigrate from all over the world to live on Belle Isle, but to gain citizenship, people would first have to apply and be approved and then post a fee of about $300,000, which would be used to repay the group of investors as well as finance infrastructure and back the nation’s own currency.

The island would also be an environmental haven.

“Served by a monorail, Belle Isle is a walking community, with restricted hours for vehicles. With emphasis on great planning and architecture, people from all over the world come to Belle Isle, to be part of its freedom and opportunity culture,” Lockwood writes.


(click here to continue reading Detroit author Rodney Lockwood presents island utopia concept to revive depressed metropolis – NY Daily News.)

Ok, you join first, and if it works out, maybe I’ll come visit…

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