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View Poll Results: What is the Midwest's second city/metropolis?
Greater Detroit 65 41.67%
Greater Minneapolis/Saint Paul 91 58.33%
Voters: 156. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-14-2015, 01:35 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennifat View Post
I've never been to the Detroit metro, so I'm completely unfamiliar with the layout of the area. What's the suburban makeup like? Since the old center (Detroit) is basically a dried out husk, is the metro just a huge centerless suburbia blob? Is it similar in organization to Los Angeles, with lots of small suburban centers? Obviously I realize that downtown Detroit is still a player in metro business and commerce, but it seems to be considerably less than in most metros.

I'm not trying to make any jabs, I just sincerely don't understand how a dynamic like that works for a metro area of 4.5 million.
The whole City is not a dried out husk, it has some really unique neighborhoods like "the Villages" area consisting of the neighborhoods of West Village, Indian Village, Islandview, Joseph Berry Subdivision, and the Gold Coast:

West Village





Indian Village



Islandview Village (mansions of East Grand Blvd)



Joseph Berry Subdivision



Gold Coast


 
Old 05-14-2015, 02:23 PM
 
56,291 posts, read 80,465,056 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usroute10 View Post
The whole City is not a dried out husk, it has some really unique neighborhoods like "the Villages" area consisting of the neighborhoods of West Village, Indian Village, Islandview, Joseph Berry Subdivision, and the Gold Coast:

West Village





Indian Village



Islandview Village (mansions of East Grand Blvd)



Joseph Berry Subdivision



Gold Coast
This doesn't even touch on the neighborhoods within the city along Woodward, especially in the Northern portion of the city(Sherwood Forest, Palmer Woods, the University District, etc).
 
Old 05-14-2015, 02:27 PM
 
1,780 posts, read 2,132,074 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennifat View Post
I've never been to the Detroit metro, so I'm completely unfamiliar with the layout of the area. What's the suburban makeup like? Since the old center (Detroit) is basically a dried out husk, is the metro just a huge centerless suburbia blob? Is it similar in organization to Los Angeles, with lots of small suburban centers? Obviously I realize that downtown Detroit is still a player in metro business and commerce, but it seems to be considerably less than in most metros.

I'm not trying to make any jabs, I just sincerely don't understand how a dynamic like that works for a metro area of 4.5 million.
Detroit suburbs are mostly mindless sprawl, but there are several unique ones such as the 3 trendy urban suburbs of Ferndale, Royal Oak, and Birmingham:

Ferndale




Royal Oak



Birmingham




There are the 5 Grosse Pointes, which are in a class by themselves. They have large stately homes, direct access to the mini-Great Lake of Lake St. Clair, and have 3 small urban commercial districts






https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtetwqyJFLo
 
Old 05-14-2015, 02:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennifat View Post
Based on what—Detroit's vast stretches of surrounding suburbia? That's great and all if you're looking for the white picket fence lifestyle, but the urban experience certainly isn't even remotely comparable, by any measure.
The urban experience based upon whose subjective criteria? I certainly think Detroit is more urban than Minneapolis. I have lived in both cities. Minneapolis uses all its space....buildings do not sit idle and abandoned and allowed to decay....like has happened in Detroit. However, still, Detroit has a higher population density than Atlanta.....despite Detroit losing well over half its population. I did not live in Detroit suburbs. I lived right in the city.....the same for Minneapolis. The Detroit area just feels a whole lot bigger.....because it is....in terms of the population. Minneapolis just has a better image than Detroit and with all the negative press about Detroit problems.......people think the region is dead....but the cities loss was the suburbs gain in terms of population and other. Now, one would have to be blind if they cannot see the turn around in Detroit, the region and the state of Michigan. I mean, I was everywhere in both metro areas and the Detroit area you would leave one area and merge right into another. Like I said.....you can compare a sickly Detroit to a healthy Minneapolis and make an argument.....but Detroit is recovering. Minneapolis is hardly the Second city of the Midwest.
 
Old 05-14-2015, 03:07 PM
 
1,780 posts, read 2,132,074 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennifat View Post
I've never been to the Detroit metro, so I'm completely unfamiliar with the layout of the area. What's the suburban makeup like? Since the old center (Detroit) is basically a dried out husk, is the metro just a huge centerless suburbia blob? Is it similar in organization to Los Angeles, with lots of small suburban centers? Obviously I realize that downtown Detroit is still a player in metro business and commerce, but it seems to be considerably less than in most metros.

I'm not trying to make any jabs, I just sincerely don't understand how a dynamic like that works for a metro area of 4.5 million.
Some other interesting suburbs include:

HAMTRAMCK, the most densely populated city in Michigan (about 11,000 people/sq mile)




PONTIAC, a small town 25 miles north of Detroit that was home to the Detroit Lions from 1974-2001




WYANDOTTE, maybe the center of the "Downriver" area of the Detroit suburbs, has a downtown that opens up to the Detroit Riverfront.

 
Old 05-14-2015, 03:33 PM
 
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Places like Farmington and Plymouth are smaller communities in Metro Detroit that offer a walkable built environment as well.
 
Old 05-14-2015, 03:37 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usroute10 View Post
Detroit suburbs are mostly mindless sprawl, but there are several unique ones such as the 3 trendy urban suburbs of Ferndale, Royal Oak, and Birmingham.
Are those really that unique, though? The Twin Cities has trendy urban suburbs exactly like those (all photos are my own):

Hastings:



Anoka:



Excelsior:



Stillwater:



Wayzata:



White Bear Lake:



Among several more for which I don't have photos:
  • Edina (50th and France)
  • Columbia Heights
  • North Saint Paul
  • Hopkins
  • Chaska
  • Shakopee
 
Old 05-14-2015, 03:41 PM
 
1,780 posts, read 2,132,074 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennifat View Post
I've never been to the Detroit metro, so I'm completely unfamiliar with the layout of the area. What's the suburban makeup like? Since the old center (Detroit) is basically a dried out husk, is the metro just a huge centerless suburbia blob? Is it similar in organization to Los Angeles, with lots of small suburban centers? Obviously I realize that downtown Detroit is still a player in metro business and commerce, but it seems to be considerably less than in most metros.

I'm not trying to make any jabs, I just sincerely don't understand how a dynamic like that works for a metro area of 4.5 million.
Lastly posts on unique Detroit suburban communities.


HIGHLAND PARK, not really a suburb. Amazing housing stock, yet shocking decay, arson, and abandonment.







DEARBORN, the home of Ford Motor Company, has 2 downtowns and the Warren Ave. district full of Middle Eastern businesses

Downtown East Dearborn



Warren Avenue




HARRISON TOWNSHIP, bland suburbia but it does have one of the great parks of the metro area, Lake St. Clair Metropark





There are also other unique suburbs with great older housing stock like Pleasant Ridge and Huntington Woods, and older suburbs with downtowns such as Plymouth, Northville, Rochester, and Mount Clemens
 
Old 05-14-2015, 03:53 PM
 
1,780 posts, read 2,132,074 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennifat View Post
Are those really that unique, though? The Twin Cities has trendy urban suburbs exactly like those (all photos are my own):

[/list]
Those are really nice communities, but unfortunately because so many people are scared to live in Detroit, those 3 suburbs have seen significant mid-rise and high-rise condo tower development to try to fit more young professionals into these small downtowns. They have truly become significant nightlife destinations with bars upon bars upon nightclubs. I am guessing those Minneapolis/St. Paul communities have cute restaurants and boutiques, but they are mostly dead by 9 pm. That's the difference.

I could show you cute downtowns like that in the Detroit area such as downtown Farmington, Northville, Plymouth, Romeo, Rochester, Oxford, Milford, Berkley as well as downtrodden suburban downtowns like River Rouge, Lincoln Park, and Wayne.

And then we have downtown Windsor, Ontario, Canada
 
Old 05-14-2015, 05:14 PM
 
Location: In the heights
21,948 posts, read 23,506,561 times
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Detroit certainly has some good bones and if things were to really look up again in terms of the economy, Detroit could again be the undisputed second city.

However, it does currently look like it's disputable despite Detroit's much larger population (even larger when including the areas of Canada bordering it). It's also still looking like the trajectory for Detroit and the region is going to continue downwards for a bit before it finally bottoms out and gets back up while the Twin Cities look to continue growing. Since neither is presently undisputed, it might make sense to look at projections for both population and GDP growth rates based on current trends and see at what point it looks like Twin Cities will overtake Detroit in terms of population and at what point the Twin Cities will have a significantly larger GDP than Detroit (let's say something like 30%).
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