When I first found out about Detroit Bikes, I assumed that it was pulling down massive subsidies from the city. The idea of moving manufacturing back into cities is trendy right now in urban planning circles, and the product — bikes, made in Detroit — seemed tailor-made for a grant-making committee. But there were no subsidies or tax breaks.

It’s not that he’d turn such help down, Pashak says. “I just didn’t want to come here looking for a handout.” When he began thinking of leaving his hometown of Calgary, Alberta, he settled on Detroit because it seemed like the logical endpoint to the sprawl that he saw developing around Calgary and other cities. “Detroit feels like the apocalyptic future that some cities will face if they continue to keep growing,” Pashak told Canadian Business earlier this year. “I feel like there’s something to learn here.”- Heather Smith, Grist