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Old 04-15-2013, 08:17 AM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
The "revitalization of Detroit" almost certainly will involve a further population decline, at least initially. This is because if you're talking about replacing black families with white yuppies you're replacing households with 2-4 people with 1-2 people. So even with a flat number of households, and keeping an identical number of housing units on the market, there should still be a considerable further drop. I wouldn't be surprised if the population falls well below 500,000 before it begins to stabilize, even in a best-case scenario.
Considering how abandoned Detroit's housing stock, I'm not sure how much replacement will be involved. Old houses cost less construction or materials cost. Any revitalization that's discussed seems limited to in and around the downtown, which probably doesn't have that many families to replace.

Btw, Detroit's decline is more severe than appears from the numbers alone as it hasn't had a decline in household size similar to most large cities, its % of children is higher than the state average. Compared to say, Pittsburgh, which has 2.12 people / household, Detroit has 2.75 people / household implying more abandoment for the same population decline. Interestingly, Liverpool, UK has lost half its population and doesn't have too much abandonment, though Ringo Starr's birthplace doesn't look too good:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=9+Mad...16.72,,0,14.47

Might be from urban renewal gone wrong rather than abandonment. The three people on the street chatting are an odd contrast.
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Old 04-15-2013, 08:33 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Btw, Detroit's decline is more severe than appears from the numbers alone as it hasn't had a decline in household size similar to most large cities, its % of children is higher than the state average. Compared to say, Pittsburgh, which has 2.12 people / household, Detroit has 2.75 people / household implying more abandoment for the same population decline.
Right, there's basically a spectrum in terms of decline when it comes to cities in the U.S.

Pittsburgh is on a far end - most of the "decline" was due to shrinking family size. Despite the population falling by over 50% since 1950, the number of households fell by a much smaller number. Basically children left, and their parents aged in place, until younger urbanists began moving into the city in larger numbers over the past few decades, and finally began replacing the elderly hangers-on. I've worked out the math, and if the population here grew by only 110,000 people (which will probably take another 20-30 years) we'll be as full as we ever were in terms of households/housing units.

On the other hand, while black families were never as large as they were stereotyped to be, they are a bit larger than white families, and were moreso in the past. The same is true for Latino families. Hence cities with racial turnover can end up with a much higher "structural overhang" even if their population decline doesn't seem as dramatic.

The dramatic decline in Detroit now, however, is almost entirely due to black flight. I think the last few white neighborhoods in Detroit proper (which were over by Dearborn) became black majority. Essentially everywhere besides Mexicantown is a majority-black neighborhood now, even if all are not 90%+ black. But housing in the Detroit suburbs is so cheap now that any black family of even moderate means can get a house in Southfield or something - so everyone is headed for the exits.
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Old 04-20-2013, 11:42 AM
 
Location: Norfolk, VA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Komeht View Post
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/14/bu...s&emc=rss&_r=0

I've largely regarded Detroit as a lost cause due to combination of loss of industry and complete public mismanagement...the situation is so grim in that city it is hard to see how it can recover in our lifetimes.

I've often wondered if one very committed man with a vision and enough resources to back it could literally transform a city. Dan Gilbert seems to have both and (for now) a City government willing to backstop his efforts. It will be interesting to see how this plays out over next 10-20 years. I agree that the real struggle may not be with downtown as much as the surrounding city neighborhoods. But a single spark can start a small ember which can grow to a large fire given the right conditions.

Also Richard Rainwater made a mint betting on Houston when it was seemingly in decline (though of course, nothing on par with Detroit).
Downtown isn't as bad as it used to be, but could still use some work. Last I heard Mayor Bing wanted everyone to move downtown, or at least the inner ring outside of downtown, so they could do as they wanted with the rest of the city. There's also speculation about corporations wanting to purchase land in what were working class neighborhoods of Detroit, but of course they have to move those people out of there to do this.
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Old 04-20-2013, 12:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goofy328 View Post
Downtown isn't as bad as it used to be, but could still use some work. Last I heard Mayor Bing wanted everyone to move downtown, or at least the inner ring outside of downtown, so they could do as they wanted with the rest of the city. There's also speculation about corporations wanting to purchase land in what were working class neighborhoods of Detroit, but of course they have to move those people out of there to do this.
It took 40 years to ruin Detroit - I would expect it would take that long to recover. These things happen over time.
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Old 04-20-2013, 01:04 PM
 
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Most city problems have to do with taxbase issues.I think we see many large cities losing taxbase as the econmy has chnaged so much after WWII and the spread of both energy and transport to areas formerly not having the abilty to support indutialization. Just as we shifted from a agriculture economy and what that brought another shift is happening now.China is a example of extreme contrast decades ago in US.
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Old 04-20-2013, 02:05 PM
 
Location: Michigan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goofy328 View Post
Downtown isn't as bad as it used to be, but could still use some work. Last I heard Mayor Bing wanted everyone to move downtown, or at least the inner ring outside of downtown, so they could do as they wanted with the rest of the city. There's also speculation about corporations wanting to purchase land in what were working class neighborhoods of Detroit, but of course they have to move those people out of there to do this.
I think I know what you're talking about, but I'm not sure if it's something large scale you're talking about.

42.289755,-83.147063 - Google Maps

It's only a few city blocks, but a collection of homes are in a less than ideal location right next to an oil refinery. The oil company was going to buy up the homes and businesses there to create a buffer zone while they expand the the refinery.

Even if Detroit 'recovered', I'd expect this part of the city to continually decline or become vacant just because of the on-going health problems caused by the heavy industry in the area. There can't be too many positives to living next to an oil refinery (downwind no less).
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Old 04-21-2013, 07:06 AM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
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I read this yesterday, and thought of this thread:
http://www.fastcompany.com/3007840/c...ilding-detroit
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Old 04-21-2013, 08:14 AM
 
Location: Norfolk, VA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by animatedmartian View Post
I think I know what you're talking about, but I'm not sure if it's something large scale you're talking about.

42.289755,-83.147063 - Google Maps

It's only a few city blocks, but a collection of homes are in a less than ideal location right next to an oil refinery. The oil company was going to buy up the homes and businesses there to create a buffer zone while they expand the the refinery.

Even if Detroit 'recovered', I'd expect this part of the city to continually decline or become vacant just because of the on-going health problems caused by the heavy industry in the area. There can't be too many positives to living next to an oil refinery (downwind no less).
No one corporation could purchase all 99 square miles, or whatever the city will want to put up to sale for the highest bidder. But several corporations could create an environment of "land privatization" to put it lightly, in which the city no longer "owns" the land, is no longer responsible for it, and just collects taxes, but for the most part developers do as they want, with oversight from the city of course.

Where I'm at now, its no Detroit, but developers have a heavy influence here. There is just a larger tax base for cities to pull from to pay their share, and developers can ask the city to pay more in terms of private/public partnerships when they want to build a new condo, etc. Developers will have to create actual businesses out of their land purchases that have nothing to do with residential projects, because those that live on the land now, can't afford new construction. It will happen eventually, and Detroit will look like City of Industry (Industry, California), in the near future. Urban farming won't create that many jobs; a few, but not enough to sustain Detroit's population.

Once the industry is set up, some of those jobs will go to suburbanites, not to the people that are already living in Detroit. The jobs may inevitably attract outsiders that can meet educational requirements that employers will ask for that might not exist within the city, at least to the degree of the demand. This has already happened in most post-industrial cities in neighboring states throughout the Midwest anyway, and will only accelerate over time. I hope I'm wrong, but if you see a disproportionate amount of land being used for industry/research/agriculture/etc, to the amount being set aside for people to actually live on, within the next 20 to 30 years in Detroit, I doubt this would come as a surprise to anyone.
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Old 04-21-2013, 08:29 AM
 
Location: Norfolk, VA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
Right, there's basically a spectrum in terms of decline when it comes to cities in the U.S.

Pittsburgh is on a far end - most of the "decline" was due to shrinking family size. Despite the population falling by over 50% since 1950, the number of households fell by a much smaller number. Basically children left, and their parents aged in place, until younger urbanists began moving into the city in larger numbers over the past few decades, and finally began replacing the elderly hangers-on. I've worked out the math, and if the population here grew by only 110,000 people (which will probably take another 20-30 years) we'll be as full as we ever were in terms of households/housing units.

On the other hand, while black families were never as large as they were stereotyped to be, they are a bit larger than white families, and were moreso in the past. The same is true for Latino families. Hence cities with racial turnover can end up with a much higher "structural overhang" even if their population decline doesn't seem as dramatic.

The dramatic decline in Detroit now, however, is almost entirely due to black flight. I think the last few white neighborhoods in Detroit proper (which were over by Dearborn) became black majority. Essentially everywhere besides Mexicantown is a majority-black neighborhood now, even if all are not 90%+ black. But housing in the Detroit suburbs is so cheap now that any black family of even moderate means can get a house in Southfield or something - so everyone is headed for the exits.
Nobody likes to talk about Black flight in Detroit because Detroit is supposed to be a Black city.
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:02 AM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Long Island / NYC
45,992 posts, read 42,089,742 times
Reputation: 14811
Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
Right, there's basically a spectrum in terms of decline when it comes to cities in the U.S.

Pittsburgh is on a far end - most of the "decline" was due to shrinking family size. Despite the population falling by over 50% since 1950, the number of households fell by a much smaller number. Basically children left, and their parents aged in place, until younger urbanists began moving into the city in larger numbers over the past few decades, and finally began replacing the elderly hangers-on. I've worked out the math, and if the population here grew by only 110,000 people (which will probably take another 20-30 years) we'll be as full as we ever were in terms of households/housing units.
The graph of Somerville's population history is interesting. It shows a large postwar population drop, but no change in housing units:

http://www.somervillema.gov/sites/de...on914-2009.pdf

Flight of families? Abandonment probably isn't responsible for much, as vacancy rates peaked at 4% and was usually lower; usually a vacancy rate of at least a couple % is normal. Somewhere I read part of Somerville described as a "grad student ghetto" due being adjacent to Cambridge.
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