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Old 05-27-2011, 12:13 PM
 
Location: Downtown Detroit
1,497 posts, read 3,331,396 times
Reputation: 927

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retroit View Post
ForStarters, I really admire your enthusiasm for the city (despite me constantly berating you for it). The idea that improving downtown will lift up the rest of the city has been around a long time and has been used to justify such failures as the People Mover, the RenCen, Ford Auditorium, Casinos, Stadium, Washigton Trolley, Cobo Hall and it's expansions, Marine Terminal, etc. Yet have any of these things really helped the neighborhoods outside of downtown? Personally, I think the more time, money and effort that is being expended downtown, the less that is being focused on the residential neighborhoods. If I lived in Detroit (outside of downtown), I would resent that.

True, Detroiters may go to a casino or stadium a couple times a year for entertainment. But wouldn't Detroiters be better off investing that money in their homes, neighborhoods, schools, and business that keep money within the city instead of sending it off to wherever the casino and sport team owners and athletes live?

To make a great city, all areas have to be attended to continuously. It's not like you can improve 2%, neglect 98%, and expect positive results.
You raise an interesting argument, and it's one that I don't totally disagree with... If Detroit took all of its investment money, all the grants, all the expenditures on infrastructure, and all the other available funds and poured them into the neighborhoods, would it do more good than the focus that has been given to downtown and the surrounding areas?

I'm not completely certain of the answer... What neighborhoods would you invest in? You couldn't possibly focus on the entire city as you mentioned. That would be throwing money away on areas that have virtually no inhabitants, or salvageable assets. Now, if you could somehow identify quality neighborhoods with good housing stocks, and strong neighborhood associations and you allocated all of that funding to them, you might make some progress. If you gave the money to neighborhoods to buy back vacant houses, rehab them, and then put them back on the market, that would be good. Perhaps neighborhoods could use the money to build charter schools. They might also be able rehab parks, fix sidewalks, improve lighting, and overall beautify the street-scape.

If that were the plan, I wouldn't be totally opposed. You would have to incorporate what Mayor Bing is attempting to do, which is to give incentives to people to locate into denser areas. Spending money all over the city with no specific target would be disaster. Rather, take the core neighborhoods and start building them out from there. You always have to have a "core" to begin with, though. And that's why I always believed greater downtown was the best place to start. Downtown is, in fact, Detroit's (and the region's) core neighborhood. It's where it all begins and ends.

Plus, I don't think that communities work without a vibrant center. Any city, in any society, always has a core. The core is typically a place where commerce occurs. There is usually a public element to it. It is usually a gathering place, a focal point, an indicator of identity and history. It's a place people usually care about and associate with. Where do you go to celebrate a victory? Where do you go to mourn the death of a leader? Where do you go to gather socially? Where do you go to protest? Where do you go for inspiration? Well, you go to the core. Downtown Detroit satisfies this need.

Additionally, Detroit needs a jobs center. Just as people are social creatures, so are many companies. They don't want to be isolated. I bet Alaska is cheap as dirt to do business, but Anchorage is not much of a center of trade and commerce. Detroiters need access to jobs, and not just auto jobs. They need white collar positions to aim for. People can start as a bus boy in the new Texas de Brazil restaurant, meet an executive at Quicken, and end up being an advertising manager. This is why cities are popular to the ambitious and upwardly mobile- they present a concentration of opportunities.

In all honesty, I hope the city splits the difference between building up downtown and investing in the neighborhoods. I think Bing's plan to re-densify the city and concentrate services contains a component of this. They have rehabbed many homes already for public safety employees to move into. Downtown seems to be doing fine on its own. The last real piece of infrastructure downtown needs to thrive is light rail. Once that is in place, I think you can decommission the People Mover, decrease the bus operations on Woodward, and sit back and watch the development bloom. At that point, the city can really focus on the neighborhoods, but should start planning the Michigan Avenue and Gratiot lines so that there's no loss of momentum.
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Old 05-27-2011, 01:48 PM
 
Location: Rochester Hills
70 posts, read 126,243 times
Reputation: 61
What is investing in "neighborhoods" gonna do? What is fixing sidewalks and landscaping going to when the residents are poor, uneducated, and unemployed? At the least downtown is something everyone can enjoy, and hopefully will encourage contributing members of society to move to the city.
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Old 05-27-2011, 03:26 PM
 
Location: Downtown Detroit
1,497 posts, read 3,331,396 times
Reputation: 927
Quote:
What is investing in "neighborhoods" gonna do? What is fixing sidewalks and landscaping going to when the residents are poor, uneducated, and unemployed? At the least downtown is something everyone can enjoy, and hopefully will encourage contributing members of society to move to the city.
I'm damned if I do, damned if I don't, apparently.
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Old 05-27-2011, 03:36 PM
 
Location: north of Windsor, ON
1,901 posts, read 5,547,574 times
Reputation: 653
Quote:
Originally Posted by hiphopcr View Post
What is investing in "neighborhoods" gonna do? What is fixing sidewalks and landscaping going to when the residents are poor, uneducated, and unemployed? At the least downtown is something everyone can enjoy, and hopefully will encourage contributing members of society to move to the city.
I kind of agree with you, but the entire city isn't like that. There's lots of places that have gone downhill rather quickly the past 15 years or so and it's sad to see them now. While it's nice to have a nice downtown, those middle-class areas that aren't rotten to the core need to be preserved as well.

Besides, there's lots of places in the suburbs chock full of poor, uneducated, and unemployed people. Visit a Wal*Mart or a Michigan Lottery retailer. That's not just a city problem.
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Old 05-27-2011, 03:43 PM
 
4,852 posts, read 8,721,629 times
Reputation: 7705
Quote:
Originally Posted by hiphopcr View Post
What is investing in "neighborhoods" gonna do? What is fixing sidewalks and landscaping going to when the residents are poor, uneducated, and unemployed? At the least downtown is something everyone can enjoy, and hopefully will encourage contributing members of society to move to the city.
I agree with this post. I do think, though, that there is a bigger problem than the citizens being poor, uneducated, and unemployed. There is a very deep moral problem that began with the breakdown of the nuclear family and spiraled into drug use, drug dealing, gang violence, and a basic disrespect for human life and a total lack of a sense of right and wrong. If you look back to the Great Depression, the people were poorer and even less educated, and unemployment was the worst that it's ever been in the history of this country. Yet somehow, families stayed together, fathers married the mothers of their children and tried hard to provide for those children, it was still considered a shameful thing to have a child out of wedlock, teenage gangs were virtually nonexistent, and while crime did exist, it was nothing remotely like it is today, because people had some semblance of respect for others and their lives and possessions.

They can throw a billion dollars at the city of Detroit if they want to, but unless something can be done to instill a moral climate that existed in the early 20th century and before, it will be like throwing it down the sewer. People have to understand why some things are wrong and other things are right and actually aspire to do the right thing and treat others like they want to be treated, or Detroit will continue on its current path. These problems exist in every city in America, but for some reason, they seem to be magnified in Detroit, probably because the people who cared a little bit mostly fled to the 'burbs and left Detroit for whomever wanted it.
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Old 05-27-2011, 05:55 PM
 
Location: Detroit's eastside, downtown Detroit in near future!
2,055 posts, read 4,172,560 times
Reputation: 692
Quote:
Originally Posted by ForStarters View Post
You raise an interesting argument, and it's one that I don't totally disagree with... If Detroit took all of its investment money, all the grants, all the expenditures on infrastructure, and all the other available funds and poured them into the neighborhoods, would it do more good than the focus that has been given to downtown and the surrounding areas?

I'm not completely certain of the answer... What neighborhoods would you invest in? You couldn't possibly focus on the entire city as you mentioned. That would be throwing money away on areas that have virtually no inhabitants, or salvageable assets. Now, if you could somehow identify quality neighborhoods with good housing stocks, and strong neighborhood associations and you allocated all of that funding to them, you might make some progress. If you gave the money to neighborhoods to buy back vacant houses, rehab them, and then put them back on the market, that would be good. Perhaps neighborhoods could use the money to build charter schools. They might also be able rehab parks, fix sidewalks, improve lighting, and overall beautify the street-scape.

If that were the plan, I wouldn't be totally opposed. You would have to incorporate what Mayor Bing is attempting to do, which is to give incentives to people to locate into denser areas. Spending money all over the city with no specific target would be disaster. Rather, take the core neighborhoods and start building them out from there. You always have to have a "core" to begin with, though. And that's why I always believed greater downtown was the best place to start. Downtown is, in fact, Detroit's (and the region's) core neighborhood. It's where it all begins and ends.

Plus, I don't think that communities work without a vibrant center. Any city, in any society, always has a core. The core is typically a place where commerce occurs. There is usually a public element to it. It is usually a gathering place, a focal point, an indicator of identity and history. It's a place people usually care about and associate with. Where do you go to celebrate a victory? Where do you go to mourn the death of a leader? Where do you go to gather socially? Where do you go to protest? Where do you go for inspiration? Well, you go to the core. Downtown Detroit satisfies this need.

Additionally, Detroit needs a jobs center. Just as people are social creatures, so are many companies. They don't want to be isolated. I bet Alaska is cheap as dirt to do business, but Anchorage is not much of a center of trade and commerce. Detroiters need access to jobs, and not just auto jobs. They need white collar positions to aim for. People can start as a bus boy in the new Texas de Brazil restaurant, meet an executive at Quicken, and end up being an advertising manager. This is why cities are popular to the ambitious and upwardly mobile- they present a concentration of opportunities.

In all honesty, I hope the city splits the difference between building up downtown and investing in the neighborhoods. I think Bing's plan to re-densify the city and concentrate services contains a component of this. They have rehabbed many homes already for public safety employees to move into. Downtown seems to be doing fine on its own. The last real piece of infrastructure downtown needs to thrive is light rail. Once that is in place, I think you can decommission the People Mover, decrease the bus operations on Woodward, and sit back and watch the development bloom. At that point, the city can really focus on the neighborhoods, but should start planning the Michigan Avenue and Gratiot lines so that there's no loss of momentum.
thank you, and last I checked there are some things going on in other parts of the city from the Mack neighborhood to Rosedale park. Oh but I guess since Retroit only sits in Eastpointe on his computer talking crap about Detroit instead of going out seeing for himself he wouldn't know that huh
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Old 05-27-2011, 05:57 PM
 
Location: Detroit's eastside, downtown Detroit in near future!
2,055 posts, read 4,172,560 times
Reputation: 692
Quote:
Originally Posted by hiphopcr View Post
What is investing in "neighborhoods" gonna do? What is fixing sidewalks and landscaping going to when the residents are poor, uneducated, and unemployed? At the least downtown is something everyone can enjoy, and hopefully will encourage contributing members of society to move to the city.
wow so every single neighborhood throughout the city is full of uneducated, poor and unemployed people?
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Old 05-27-2011, 06:39 PM
 
Location: North of Canada, but not the Arctic
17,852 posts, read 16,049,862 times
Reputation: 21389
Quote:
Originally Posted by hiphopcr View Post
What is investing in "neighborhoods" gonna do? What is fixing sidewalks and landscaping going to when the residents are poor, uneducated, and unemployed? At the least downtown is something everyone can enjoy, and hopefully will encourage contributing members of society to move to the city.

A few misconceptions here:
  • It's not about "investing"; it's about maintaining.
  • Sidewalks need to be fixed for the safety of the citizens. In Eastpointe, they divided the city into 10 sectors. Every ten years your sidewalks are inspected and replaced as necessary. Paid for by the property owner.
  • I'm not talking about "landscaping"; I'm talking about cutting the grass.
  • Just because residents are poor, uneducated, and unemployed doesn't mean they should not be receiving their taxdollar's worth of city services.
  • There are many things that the city can do to improve the neighborhoods: Bulk trash pick-up, tearing down burnt-out buildings, code enforcement, etc. None of these have the glamor of light rail, but they are precisely the things that people expect from their tax-dollars.
  • I'd be willing to bet that most Detroiters do not do downtown on a regular basis, but they do spend everyday in their neighborhoods.
  • "Contributing members of society" are not going to move to a city thay doesn't provide basic city services.
-----------------
canudigit, you are right on.
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Old 05-27-2011, 07:37 PM
 
7,237 posts, read 12,164,537 times
Reputation: 5623
Quote:
Originally Posted by detroitlove View Post
wow so every single neighborhood throughout the city is full of uneducated, poor and unemployed people?
Stop trying to use fallacies in all of your arguments.

I'm not even sure what you mean by "so every single neighborhood throughout the city is full of uneducated, poor and unemployed people" because you used wording that was clever enough that you can spin it whatever way to please and still be right.

He didn't say the city was filled with nothing but uneducated (undereducated would have been a better word, but it's not a relevant point in this case), poor and unemployed people, but he did say the city has a lot of uneducated, unemployed and poor people (there's a difference between that and the aforementioned conclusion you came to) and the statistics prove that.
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Old 05-27-2011, 09:57 PM
 
Location: Downtown Detroit
1,497 posts, read 3,331,396 times
Reputation: 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by 313Weather View Post
Stop trying to use fallacies in all of your arguments.

I'm not even sure what you mean by "so every single neighborhood throughout the city is full of uneducated, poor and unemployed people" because you used wording that was clever enough that you can spin it whatever way to please and still be right.

He didn't say the city was filled with nothing but uneducated (undereducated would have been a better word, but it's not a relevant point in this case), poor and unemployed people, but he did say the city has a lot of uneducated, unemployed and poor people (there's a difference between that and the aforementioned conclusion you came to) and the statistics prove that.
I don't want to speak for detroitlove (or anyone else), but I think what upsets some people is the generalizing that occurs. I think it is simply unnecessary stereotyping that creates unnecessary havoc. People seem to lay off me because I live downtown, but then make broad statements about the rest of the city that aren't really true, such as residents being uneducated, poor, and unemployed as if it's a given. I have many friends, black, white, and other that live in southwest Detroit, on the eastside, and in other places that are highly educated, are very much employed, and make more money than I do. One of my friends who lives on the eastside far from downtown has an MBA, another friend in southwest has a law degree. I have a friend who lives in a somewhat rougher neighborhood who is a teacher. All of whom went to Detroit Public Schools and are now successful, respectable individuals.

There are definitely Detroiters who are awful, non-productive, pains in the arse, but the sweeping generalizations are often not true. To have a productive conversation, you can't make generalizations about people. For instance, I could say that all Birmingham residents are rich, snobbish, jerks who care about nothing but money and expensive luxuries. Does that describe some Birmingham residents? Surely, it does, but it is not fair to characterize the entire town as such. Thus, if you want to criticize Detroiters, make it clear who you are talking about, so the productive, educated people don't get offended by your generalizations.
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