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Old 01-27-2011, 07:07 PM
 
Location: Detroit's eastside, downtown Detroit in near future!
2,055 posts, read 3,700,655 times
Reputation: 646

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann_Arbor View Post
Detroit is 'turning around' like the Aral Sea is getting re-filled.

There are some nice stories here and there, but it will never be close to what it was.
what is it that people don't understand about "POSSIBLE turnaround"
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Old 01-27-2011, 07:29 PM
 
4 posts, read 4,522 times
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For myself, I've grown weary of all of the "revitalization talk". So many of the day-to-day policies do not match the rhetoric. We've been down this road before where money was pumped into new re-birthing projects and multi-million dollar ad campaigns were run, but in the end, the results fell miserably short of the promises. A select few made out lavishly while the masses continue to suffer through. There's a large dose of skepticism among many here. One hopes things turn around, but three decades of past experience dictates a "wait and see attitude" for some. And, like in times past, there's this talk about revitalizing downtown/mid-town, but what about the greater area where most citizens actually live? What good is a "paradise" of a downtown and university center if the conditions of the more concentrated areas are dismal?

Personally, if I were in my early 20's and fresh out of college I might have a much stronger interest. The young have time and resources on their side. The problem for me has been, that I was involved in all of the past hype. I sought to be a "part of the change" and in my experiences, I found deeply entrenched attitudes that were difficult to overcome. There's a mentality here that you "pay to play" and that you have to be invited into one of the "closed societies" or "connected cliques" to get anywhere here. Innovative thinking is discouraged and there's a definite disenfranchisement of many residents with no true plan or interest to include the "average resident" in what is going on.

Tell me, how can you revitalize a metropolitan area when the core city and suburbs have an adversarial relationship that shows few signs of healing? Even now, folks are gearing to "duke it out" over who controls the water. Or, how can you revitalize a region when the school system shapes students into future "factory workers" without acknowledging that students must be prepared in technology, math and science? Heck, it's been said that only 25% of city students go on to complete high school and we won't even discuss literacy rates. The results are not much better in many of the suburbs, so I'm not D-bashing, I'm just pointing out some very sad, but true realities.

If you have a family to keep safe and provide for, where do you find the time to buy into pipe dreams and shallow ad campaigns? I'm too busy worrying about jobs/job stability, EMS/police/fire protection, underperforming schools and ... (u get the point).

Iwill say that this time around the area has several advantages that it did not have before. For one, I think that people are VERY SLOWLY waking up to the notion that everyone ('burb/city, professional/blue collar, ethnic/anglo) will have to come out of their shells and be willing to work together if this place is going to survive. Second, the deeply entrenched corruption is FINALLY in the line of fire and the closed-networks are coming under more pressure to be inclusive. Third, the State is pushing for innovation/green technology. Michigan is also SLOWLY waking up to the fact that the automotive sector can't carry an entire economy. Economic/corporate diversity has to be aggressively cultivated. And, unlike past "gentrification" projects of the late 80's/90's that just drove bulldozers through occupied communities without a thought about the effect, I think folks realize they have to approach revitalization more wholistically and a bit more responsibly. That said, the area still has an uphill climb before it.

My best to those willing to take on these challenges. I just encourage folks to keep one foot firmly planted on the ground so they don't become overwhelmed when they reach the realization that change may take more time, more money and more patience.
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Old 01-27-2011, 08:02 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
379 posts, read 928,692 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by detroitlove View Post
what is it that people don't understand about "POSSIBLE turnaround"
My analogy wasn't a negative. It is what it is. Slows Bbq is a great restaurant and a nice story- the swaths of blighted residential neighborhoods north of Slows 'turning around' isn't something I would bank on..
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Old 01-27-2011, 08:41 PM
 
Location: Arizona
419 posts, read 636,106 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann_Arbor View Post
Detroit is 'turning around' like the Aral Sea is getting re-filled.

There are some nice stories here and there, but it will never be close to what it was.
It is amazing to me how someone living in Pittsburgh can criticize the "turnaround" of Detroit.

Many communities around Pittsburgh have not recovered from the end of the steel industry. You have communities such as; Homewood, Hazelwood, and Greenfield that are filled with crime & decayed houses. Friendship & East Liberty are iffy. Need to throw in the Mexican war streets. Morningside, is pretty much intact because the Italian immirgrants stayed put, even with the surrounding decay.

Shadyside, The Strip District, Highland Park and Squirel Hill are great communities. However, be prepared to spend lots of dollars for those homes, not to mention the astronomical property taxes for failing schools.

The only thing that saved Pittsburgh is because of their prestigious universities and medical facilites.

Pittsburgh, has been losing residents right and left because of the high property taxes. People have been fleeing to Westmoreland County and now to Butler County. Butler County is where the growth is with a lower tax base.

Detoit is building their communities that will rival anything in Pittsburhgh. Hopefully, Detroit will be able to diversify it's industries to keep the momentum going.
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Old 01-27-2011, 08:50 PM
 
Location: Detroit's eastside, downtown Detroit in near future!
2,055 posts, read 3,700,655 times
Reputation: 646
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann_Arbor View Post
My analogy wasn't a negative. It is what it is. Slows Bbq is a great restaurant and a nice story- the swaths of blighted residential neighborhoods north of Slows 'turning around' isn't something I would bank on..
But yet didn't Slows reopen not too long ago? you act as if its been 20 yrs. There is going to take some time other than 03-10 of continuous effort in order for the city to turn around. Where did I say the city HAS turned around? no where
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Old 01-27-2011, 09:12 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
379 posts, read 928,692 times
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"It is amazing to me how someone living in Pittsburgh can criticize the "turnaround" of Detroit."
--

I'm really not criticizing it, I'm just being a realist- I lived in Southeast Michigan and now in Pittsburgh. There are a lot of Michigan bashers on here, I'm definitely not one of them- but I'm also not naive to the extremity of the hole that Detroit has dug its self into. They were throwing around the word 'turnaround' in the early 90s when I first started living there, and I know they used that word well before that during the Urban Renewal period. When I here 'turnaround' a word that comes to mind is return to the way it was. I'm sure Detroit residents themselves are so numb to the word 'turnaround' that it took on a knew meaning, like 'yea right, when?'. A better word would be 'reinvent', which will take a whole lot of motivation by a whole lot of people and several really good ideas and massive public/private investment- and in Detroit's case, wide-scale rezoning and population consolidation. I hope Detroit is up for it.

Pittsburgh and Detroit are often connected in these conversations, such as 'Detroit should follow what Pittsburgh did', however, with my experience being in both cities, as well as my interest in urban history, there exists major differences that would prohibit an adequate comparison. For the sake of not beating a dead horse and overlapping pages after pages of Detroit forum posts, I don't really feel like bringing them up again- unless you are really interested.

Last edited by Ann_Arbor; 01-27-2011 at 09:25 PM..
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Old 01-27-2011, 09:15 PM
 
Location: Detroit's eastside, downtown Detroit in near future!
2,055 posts, read 3,700,655 times
Reputation: 646
[quote=Ann_Arbor;17611836]
Quote:
Originally Posted by SCBaker View Post
It is amazing to me how someone living in Pittsburgh can criticize the "turnaround" of Detroit.

I'm really not criticizing it, I'm just being a realist- I lived in Southeast Michigan and now in Pittsburgh. There are a lot of Michigan bashers on here, I'm definitely not one of them- but I'm also not naive to the extremity of the hole that Detroit has dug its self into. They were throwing around the word 'turnaround' in the early 90s when I first started living there, and I know they used that word well before that during the Urban Renewal period. When I here 'turnaround' a word that comes to mind is return to the way it was. I'm sure Detroit residents themselves are so numb to the word 'turnaround' that it took on a knew meaning, like 'yea right, when?'. A better word would be 'reinvent', which will take a whole lot of motivation by a whole lot of people and several really good ideas and massive public/private investment- and in Detroit's case, wide-scale rezoning and population consolidation. I hope Detroit is up for it.

Pittsburgh and Detroit are often connected in these conversations, such as 'Detroit should follow what Pittsburgh did', however, with my experience being in both cities, as well as my interest in urban history, there exists major differences that would prohibit an adequate comparison. For the sake of not beating a dead horse and overlapping pages after pages of Detroit forum posts, I don't really feel like bringing them up again- unless you are really interested.
you're reading too much into the "turn around"
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Old 01-27-2011, 09:24 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
379 posts, read 928,692 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by detroitlove View Post
But yet didn't Slows reopen not too long ago? you act as if its been 20 yrs. There is going to take some time other than 03-10 of continuous effort in order for the city to turn around. Where did I say the city HAS turned around? no where

I hope so. I could see Corktown rehabilitate 10 years out. That area has a chance being so close to downtown, especially if they do anything with Central Station. There is a lot of nice architecture on Michigan Ave. that is prime to redevelop..
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Old 01-27-2011, 09:39 PM
 
Location: Somewhere below Mason/Dixon
5,841 posts, read 6,919,012 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canudigit View Post
This is true. If you think of a city in terms of a body, then the downtown is the heart. When a city is in need of rebirth, it only makes sense to start with the downtown. A city with a vibrant, interesting, relatively safe downtown is a city that will attract attention and people will start realizing that the rest of it, bit by bit, is probably worth saving too. Detroit has made HUGE strides in its downtown even in the past few decades. I can't imagine who would have lived in downtown Detroit when I was a kid, and now it is filled with young professionals and gorgeous lofts that rival those in Chicago and New York. As a result of these developments, Midtown is experiencing somewhat of a renaissance as well. I commented here this past summer that I was amazed at the Woodward corridor beyond the Fox Theater and the ballpark, because those are blocks that I can remember driving past when I was a kid with my parents and it was all bars, wig shops, and pawn shops. Now I see Starbucks, other cafes and restaurants, new lofts and apartments, and life, lots of life! People out and about and not afraid. This was not even close to being the case a couple of decades ago.

Downtown is still a work in progress, and it's so exciting to see. It's beginning to rival the downtowns of other great cities again bit by bit. I don't blame people for wanting to be a part of it and getting excited about it. Start with downtown, get the people there first, let them discover how much they love it, and bit by bit the rest of the city may turn around too.

For the first time in 15 years I went to Detroit this summer, twice in fact. (2 tiger games) While in the stadium area you would never know you were in Detroit, lots of people, beautiful new stadiums, restored old buildings. Greektown and the casino area is the same story. There are however too many abandoned buildings. We took a walk to catch the people mover and found ourselves seeing more of the Detroit we all hear about. Bums looking for money, abandoned buildings. You are right, there are some nice things going on downtown, and the city as a whole has a ton of beautiful historic buildings waiting to be restored. Its such a shame to see art deco era skyscrapers emtpty. If Detroit is to recover, somehow these buildings need to be re-occupied. SOmehow our state needs to convince new business to take advantage of this usable space. This can be done through tax credits. The downtown area also needs to be cleared of vagrants and criminals. I know someone who was down there recently and had thier car broken into downtown. There needs to be a heavier police presence. Also with 1/3rd of the city abandoned I think Mayor Bing is on the right track with his plan to demolish abandoned neighborhoods and consolidate the remaining residents in the most viable neighborhoods. This will allow the city to more efficently serve its citizens, and police thier neighborhoods more effectively. One of the keys to reviving Detroit is to get the crime problem under control. Another thing that holds down redevelopment downtown is the fact that in order to get to downtown you must drive through areas of obvious decay and abandonment. You can clearly see it even from I-75 or I-96. I think the city and the state should offer tax credits and incentives to redevelope areas following the major corridors into the city. (I-75, I-96, I-94). The image of Detroit would greatly improve if people saw neatly manicured parks, greenspace and new development from the interstate vs what they see there today. If Joe suburbanite, or Bubba from outstate sees nice things from the highway on his way to a tiger game he will think much better of the city, than he will seeing the burned out houses and run down areas. I know some on here will slam me, say im Detroit bashing again but these are my thoughts on what could be done to change the path Detroit is on today.
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Old 01-27-2011, 09:59 PM
 
Location: west mich
5,740 posts, read 5,655,941 times
Reputation: 2108
Quote:
Originally Posted by SCBaker View Post
Detoit is building their communities that will rival anything in Pittsburhgh. Hopefully, Detroit will be able to diversify it's industries to keep the momentum going.
I think the diversification process is just commencing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ForStarters View Post
I'd like to add that it only takes about 10 minutes browsing this forum to see that Detroit is just like any other city, i.e. it's not all cut from the same cloth.
Browsing the other cities forums shows people at each others' throats there as well.
Quote:
Originally Posted by us66 View Post
Of all 139 square miles of the city, only ten or so are experiencing any meaningful turnaround.
Where do you get this figure? What are the ten sq mile or so areas you're talking about? Why is this "meaningful turnaround" going to stop?
Quote:
The other 129 are either the slums they have been for as long as anyone can remember or they are actively getting worse, and bringing down some suburban areas along with it.
Which suburban areas?
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