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Old 03-16-2011, 07:23 PM
 
Location: Detroit's eastside, downtown Detroit in near future!
2,055 posts, read 3,864,318 times
Reputation: 661

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retroit View Post
I've been to a lot of other cities and the sprawl in Detroit is no different than any other American city. You could plop me down in the suburbs of any city and I wouldn't be able to tell you what city I was in. Every other city has the same Wal-marts, Home Depots, etc. and an equal number of expressways (although Detroit's are less congested than most cities). The only thing Detroit has more of than any other city is widespread abandonment of the inner city. That's the reason rail transit is hard to justify here. The abandonment wasn't due to failure of civic planning; it was due to a breakdown in the social fabric.

Anyone that says California has less sprawl than Detroit lacks credibility.

smh
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Old 03-16-2011, 07:37 PM
 
7,237 posts, read 11,122,295 times
Reputation: 5586
Quote:
Originally Posted by detroitlove View Post
smh
Not that it justifies our excessive sprawl, but he's right (WRT to the part you bolded).

The term "urban prairie" was coined specifically for Detroit.

And that goes back to my original post where I stated the fact that Detroit has doubled in size in the past half century yet the population has remained stagnant is fiscally unsustainable. What that maens is since development is outpacing population growth many areas will simply be "abandoned" for the new areas (Detroit). The problem with that is we still have to maintain the OLD ("abandoned") infrasturcture to service the few people left behind and the NEW infrastructure with the same or fewer dollars we had when the region was only half its present size.

Last edited by 313Weather; 03-16-2011 at 07:50 PM..
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Old 03-16-2011, 07:41 PM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,862 posts, read 17,612,352 times
Reputation: 3813
Quote:
Originally Posted by Retroit View Post
I've been to a lot of other cities and the sprawl in Detroit is no different than any other American city. You could plop me down in the suburbs of any city and I wouldn't be able to tell you what city I was in. Every other city has the same Wal-marts, Home Depots, etc. and an equal number of expressways (although Detroit's are less congested than most cities). The only thing Detroit has more of than any other city is widespread abandonment of the inner city. That's the reason rail transit is hard to justify here. The abandonment wasn't due to failure of civic planning; it was due to a breakdown in the social fabric.

Anyone that says California has less sprawl than Detroit lacks credibility.
That's not true. Have you been to the older Chicago suburbs served by the Metra? They have a lot more investment in their business districts than older suburbs in Detroit, most of it centered around the blocks nearest to the Metra stations.

I think what the writer is saying though, is that in the metro Detroit area, most of the creative firms are located out in the suburbs, not in the city. That's the problem. And that when people are touting the amenities of the area to potential employees, all they can show is Great Lakes Crossings, Whole Foods out in West Bloomfield and Ikea in Canton. Hardly the kind of "quality of place" that young creatives are looking for.

I have found here in Grand Rapids, the "old guard" just does not get that. They think that young people don't care about bike-ability, livability, greenspaces and living without a car. They're slooowwlllyyy coming around though.

Last edited by magellan; 03-16-2011 at 07:50 PM..
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Old 03-16-2011, 08:14 PM
 
1,490 posts, read 3,235,690 times
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The West Coast views the Midwest as ten years behind the times. There is some reality to that perception.
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Old 03-16-2011, 08:26 PM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,862 posts, read 17,612,352 times
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This is a great video on the same site:

The Woodward Project — A New Model for Detroit | Rust Wire
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Old 03-16-2011, 10:10 PM
 
Location: Detroit's eastside, downtown Detroit in near future!
2,055 posts, read 3,864,318 times
Reputation: 661
Quote:
Originally Posted by 313Weather View Post
Not that it justifies our excessive sprawl, but he's right (WRT to the part you bolded).

The term "urban prairie" was coined specifically for Detroit.

And that goes back to my original post where I stated the fact that Detroit has doubled in size in the past half century yet the population has remained stagnant is fiscally unsustainable. What that maens is since development is outpacing population growth many areas will simply be "abandoned" for the new areas (Detroit). The problem with that is we still have to maintain the OLD ("abandoned") infrasturcture to service the few people left behind and the NEW infrastructure with the same or fewer dollars we had when the region was only half its present size.
since when?
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Old 03-16-2011, 10:31 PM
 
Location: north of Windsor, ON
1,903 posts, read 4,989,400 times
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[quote=magellan;18310487]That's not true. Have you been to the older Chicago suburbs served by the Metra? They have a lot more investment in their business districts than older suburbs in Detroit, most of it centered around the blocks nearest to the Metra stations.

Away from the Metra stations suburbia isn't much different in Chicagoland than it is here. Not everyone in Chicagoland is looking for a semi-urban experience, either. Their urban sprawl is simply colossal. Want a house in a new subdivision (comparable to Canton or Macomb Townships)? That would be someplace like Pleasant Prairie, WISCONSIN, with a fifty or so mile drive into the city.

I think what the writer is saying though, is that in the metro Detroit area, most of the creative firms are located out in the suburbs, not in the city. That's the problem. And that when people are touting the amenities of the area to potential employees, all they can show is Great Lakes Crossings, Whole Foods out in West Bloomfield and Ikea in Canton. Hardly the kind of "quality of place" that young creatives are looking for.


Those aren't bad. Young people really like Ikea, too. I wish I had a Whole Foods closer to home. The Troy one isn't thaaat far, but that one's a step below in size and shopping experience.

Has anyone thought, "Gee, maybe the weather in Detroit really sucks," or "All the racial and ethnic groups appear to be at each others' throats in Detroit." It's not just the suburban sprawl. How about this one: "I spent years at Harvard Law, one of the best law schools in the world; do I want to live somewhere best known for the manufacture of automobiles?"

Detroit isn't a creative area, either, unless it's designing new consumer goods or industrial implements. This is a factory town for many here, and a lot of the rest of the locals are only a generation away from the assembly line. Another difference between SE MI and Chicagoland is the diversification and maybe a bit more of an interest in education. In Chicago, the slaughterhouse butcher's son became a commodities trader. In Detroit, the assembly lineman got his son a job on the line, thus perpetuating a lack of, shall we say, sophistication in most of SE MI, and this veneer of "sophistication" is why Chicago is heaven on earth to Michigan's young.
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Old 03-17-2011, 07:35 AM
 
30 posts, read 57,677 times
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As a highly educated young person I have to say that the article pretty much hits the nail on the head in a lot of ways.

I really do think that this is very much a generational issue. A lot of younger people with money want to be able to walk and bike to things, have community parks, and generally feel like they're part of a larger community. I know I do, and it's a large part of why I moved downtown where I did- I didn't want to sacrifice being able to walk or take a train to most of the things I liked to do.

My coworkers universally thought I was completely insane. Hanging from the rafters, howling at the moon, arguing with a lamppost insane. When I tried to explain all the things I like about living downtown they would look at me like they're humoring a crazy person (I am by far the youngest person in my office).

When I get friends to come up from Chicago to visit they absolutely love downtown. I've had several start looking for work in Detroit because the cost/quality ratio here is so much better than Chicago.

The folks I talk to at work can't conceive of why anyone would have a problem living in increasingly spread out suburban communities and driving everywhere, having no connection to their neighbors, and having all the houses look the same.

Sure, all cities are surrounded by rings of generic burbs, but that's not where the people the letter writer is talking about are living. Michigan, and Detroit, need to be able to attract young educated people to live here, and building another ring of even more spread out burbs with bland housing and restrictive HOA's isn't going to do that.

The problem is that most of our leaders are from the generation that created this situation, and they're all convinced that those of us who disagree are wrong and will come to our senses, so rather than listening to us and working together to create a better system, they're ignoring us and driving people away.
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Old 03-17-2011, 07:50 AM
 
Location: Metro Detroit Area, Michigan
1,107 posts, read 2,746,092 times
Reputation: 533
I like my neighbors and help them out whenever is needed, but the suburban living is just not for me. My neighborhood is exactly one mile from end to end and in that mile, it's just homes! Once you get out to the main road, its more homes for a half of mile before you get to any stores.



It's just too much sprawl.


Heck even on 21 mile road east of romeo plank is another example of how bad the sprawl is. If one car turns left, that disrupts the flow of traffic and you have about a 30 car back up for a good two minutes or more.
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Old 03-17-2011, 10:15 AM
 
Location: Here.
14,308 posts, read 13,066,347 times
Reputation: 16754
I know several ex-metroDetroiters that moved to Chicago when they were young. After their kids reached school age, they all moved out to the suburbs or beyond. So having a great "walkable, sustainable, etc." city does not prevent suburban sprawl, it encourages it. And rail transit only makes it easier for people to live further from the city. If Chicago is "better" than Detroit, it is because they are (and have been for a very long time) the headquarters of many more multinational corporations. The sprawl there is no less than Detroit.
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