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Old 07-26-2011, 12:34 AM
Location: Cleveland, OH USA / formerly Chicago for 20 years
4,059 posts, read 6,881,940 times
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Originally Posted by Attrill View Post
I actually think that Chicago is really well positioned for the transition away from far flung suburbs. It offers many of the benefits of both urban and suburban living. Take a look at the commercial corridors that are replacing the industrial corridors along Elston and Clybourn on the Northside. There are big box stores that anyone in Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Bucktown, Avondale, Logan Square, Old Town, etc. can reach in almost no time at all. That is a convenience that is seen as a suburban perk (and is not as available in other solid transit cities like Boston, DC, SF, NYC) but it is just as available in Chicago as it is in any suburban community. Chicagoans have access to those stores while still being able to use public transit to commute to work and also have local stores that offer a wide variety of unique offerings. Chicago offers choices like no other city.
This is true. I have friends in Cleveland who are actually surprised when I tell them I can shop at places like Best Buy, Home Depot, and Costco without taking a trip to the suburbs, and that I can even walk to some of these types of stores from my apartment in Lakeview.
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Old 07-26-2011, 01:14 AM
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I'm not saying the car is completely going to go away. I never said that. But there will be a trend of people (especially younger people) moving in larger numbers to urban areas, in a way we have not seen in generations. I fully believe that. People will rely on cars less and less as time goes on. It will affect the automakers' bottom lines. There will be electric vehicles brought to market in larger numbers but not nearly quickly enough or at a low enough price point for the average consumer. People have seen what happened not only with oil prices but the housing market as well. The vision of the American Dream is shifting for millions of people. It will affect the balance sheet of these companies, of that I have little doubt. It may not mean very much to the average American but that's going to mean a LOT to the average person in the greater Detroit area. There were many warnings for YEARS to diversify industries and stop being a one-trick pony there... so I don't really feel a great deal of sympathy in that regard. The writing has been on the wall for a long time. I find it kind of ironic that the city that is probably the nation's most diversified in terms of its economy sits next to the one that is the least. Sorry if I sound bitter. I don't mean to, I just have strong feelings about the subject because I feel like there's no real sense of urgency there. I guess it won't affect me directly but I worry for my family all the time and what will become of their jobs, property values, futures, etc. My grandmother's house in Eastpointe is a good example. It was worth 138K in 2006. Today it is worth 22K. It's hard to watch this stuff when your childhood memories are there. I compared photos there from twenty five years ago to what I saw today. It was very hard on me emotionally to see what has happened. The images are seared into my brain now of those blighted houses and lawns, many sitting empty. Of a little girl on the sidewalk gesturing towards me with her plastic squirt gun. Of the burned down restaurant that sits on the main drag down the street and hasn't been touched in months. A place called 'Scruffy Church' where it's acceptable to pray in pajamas. Actually, the church is sort of cool but the other stuff is just too much to watch anymore.

Last edited by EastBoundandDownChick; 07-26-2011 at 01:40 AM..
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Old 07-26-2011, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by edsg25 View Post
i think any real american feels the tragedy of detroit. it is truly a national tragedy and a tragedy of our own making. let's not forget that is was america...not the city of detroit....that allowed the Big Three to tank and produce all that poverty and problems when it did. even the racial conflict of detorit was caused in part by the auto industry's decline. while european ethnics were making a good living in the Big Three auto plants for decades (certainly strongly in the 1950s), but just when the time when blacks were filling those jobs to the american dream, the troubles were beginning in earnest.

detroit would have had a far economically better off black community if Motown industry was still going strong. And that has contributed to the racial divide.

also, Detroit is an interesting city of when it came of age. It rose spectacularly with the start of the 20th century and the automobile but (and maybe because of cars), the city never invested in rapid transit or commuter rail (short of the late, half hearted people mover downtown). This killed any chance that DT Detroit would be connected to the suburbs and suburbanites work downtown via public transit.

Chicago and Detroit paralleled each other for the first half of the 20th century, the two industrial giants of the midwest. But Chicago had something that Detroit never did: the strong white collar component and the incredible investment in infrastructure and public works downtown. In the post WWII years, the cities began a true divergence when industry was literally and figurately going south and Chicago was able to cash in on non-industrial advantages Detroit didn't have.

We all in the Midwest would benefit from a robust Detroit. But I agree with you...it's not likely to happen. I hate to say this, but Ann Arbor comes across as the greatest city in southeast Michigan today.
Well here is where there is a MAJOR misunderstanding. The whole auto industry involves A HUGE white collared industry from financing, insurance, advertising, engineering, hi tech firms, etc., etc.

Its not like there is the Ford descendents a handful, and the rest being out-of-work, never-went-to-college UAW workers. (Yes they exist, but theres so much more). And although downsized they are all still in that area. But its all in Oakland County. A county that is still among the wealthiest in the country. With a per capita income slightly higher than Lake or DuPage in the Chicago area. AND . . . Oakland County does have A LOT more wealthy blacks than Chicagolands equivalent north shore.

Just google, West Bloomfield, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township, Franklin. All suburbs that are the equivalent our north shore, with around 5% black. To the south is Southfield, a HUGE white collared employment center (think the I-90 or I-88 corridor with taller buildings), with its residential areas ranging from a little run down to very nice, mostly nice black middle class areas. Just to the east are BUSTLING suburban downtowns like Royal Oak and Birmingham, their equivalent of our Evanston and/or Naperville.

Even in the city of Detroit there are neighborhoods that are as wealthy Chicagos wealthiest neighborhoods, and A LOT nicer than Chicagos most well off majority black neighborhoods. (the nicest part of Beverly or Kenwood might only be a 1/4 black).

Ann Arbor is technically part of the combined statistical area.

Now, I think they are starting to realize that its not enough to have just upsscale suburbs. At least the smart people there are realizing that the region has to work together. And there are signs of that happening.

The best comparison in the world is probably cold war Berlin or cold war Germany. With Oakland County being like West Berlin or West Germany, with the city being like East Germany or east Berlin. Germany was reluctant to prop up east Germany, but they knew it would be ultimately to their benefit. As evidence by corporate headquarters, etc. moving from suburbs to city.

Metro Detroit is still # 10 in metro areas with number of millionaires, with 90,000 (out of a metro area of 4 million) compared to Chicagos 250,000 (out of a metro area of about 9 million)l.

The racial divide between a predominantly black city and generally predominantly white suburbs deep down is not that different between Chicagos predominantly black south side, and the predominantly white north side.
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Old 07-27-2011, 05:35 AM
Location: Chicago, IL SouthWest Suburbs
3,528 posts, read 5,833,632 times
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there are some great insights and postings in this whole thread and thanks to all who have put the time into this subject !

couple of things i picked up
chicago and its proximity to lake water is going to be vital in the future espicially against other cities like la and phonenix or anyplace that is lacking a natural watersource that does not include moving mountains to get

Chicago and its transportation system albeit its broke in spots the foundation is built and the right of ways are already in place the way i see it this would be half or even 3/4 of the expense not to mention all the hurdles and hoops you would need to jump thru to get a line built in a city that already did not have transit in place. Yes there is light rail in places like St. Louis but not even close to the system in Chicago
Room for expansion: just look to the south of the city and there is plenty of land that can be developed without going west or north
Seasons - I am very thankful we have 4 seasons in chicago espicially considering the climate lately
the city has alot going for it including a vibrant downtown which not everyone can claim
seems to me the area is poised for a great future
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Old 09-27-2011, 05:57 PM
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Default Chicago's secret beauty

Chicago has everything to offer that you could ask for. My family and I are proud to live here. It is a little crowded, but all in all, there is room for everyone.
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