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Old 03-25-2011, 04:44 PM
 
Location: Somewhere extremely awesome
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Just a question, but I'm wondering why it seems like Lansing is often compared to Detroit, Flint, and Saginaw, rather than places like Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo, despite that employment and demographic trends seem to suggest evidence to the contrary.

Is it the shared GM heritage? Are there a lot of people in the Lansing area from there? I'm just wondering, because while Lansing has fared a little worse than west Michigan over the past 40 years or so, the decline is nowhere even close to that of the cities it's often compared with - not to knock them or anything, because Detroit and Flint seem to have a culture and pride that Lansing might be lacking in many ways.

So... what does everyone think?
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Old 03-25-2011, 08:41 PM
 
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Lansing is like Flint, but with the state capitol and MSU. If one had to pick which Michigan cities it is most like, perhaps Jackson and Battle Creek? Difficult to say, because no other city has the state government employment that Lansing has.
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Old 03-25-2011, 10:34 PM
 
Location: Midwest
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The most successful largest city in Michigan is Grand Rapids. Detroit has failed multiple times to lead the state, and is just another image of many eastern Michigan cities that followed Detroit: Flint, Saginaw, Ann Arbor ( part of Detroit metro), and even Toledo Ohio. Gladly, Lansing is not one of those cities, but have also failed behind in many areas. Flint, Saginaw, and Detroit are more than double in crime, unemployment, failing home market, etc... If it wasn't for the capital and Michigan State University in Lansing the city probably would have followed the rest of eastern Michigan. Though even now if the capital and Michigan State University was gone Lansing would not look like those cities ( Flint, etc..)
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Old 03-26-2011, 03:08 PM
 
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I think Lansing is a very vibrant city on the move! It is much better than it was back when I lived there back in the 80's.
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Old 03-26-2011, 03:17 PM
 
Location: Loving life in Gaylord!
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No...Lansing is not like Flint. Its a pretty decent city actually.
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Old 03-29-2011, 02:51 PM
 
Location: Chicago
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Default What happens when you make a comparison across the lake?

Why can't Lansing/East Lansing be more like Madison?

Madison has the state capital and largest public university, the state flagship, UW.

Lansing/East has the state capital and largest public university which is one of two of Michigan's flagships, MSU.

Why can't L/EL be more Madison like? Madison is a name that literally screams "SUCCESS." And, ok, I'd more than grant you in is one of the most beautiful settings for any city, placed on an isthmus between two large lakes.

And it never did have to contend with Lansing's now failing industrial past.

Still state capital and major flagship state university should pay off in L/EL the way that it does in Madison, Columbus, Austin, Baton Rogue, Lincoln, M/SP, etc.


shouldn't it? I mean, how many cities would drool to have those two state induced advantages conferred upon it?
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Old 03-31-2011, 12:46 AM
 
Location: Canton/Kalamazoo, Michigan
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Lansing, roughly the 3rd largest city in the state based on population statistics, also excluding Sterling Heights and the city of Warren. Obviously Detroit and Grand Rapids take first and second.
Pretty much has already been said, but without the prestigious Michigan State University located in East Lansing, the city would've probably looked more like it's counterparts to the east. Wouldn't say as bad as Flint or Detroit.
Public University's are undoubtedly a very important element for greater success in a city. Same story goes for Kalamazoo. In my opinion, Western Michigan University is the Best asset the city has to offer. Go Higher Education!
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Old 03-31-2011, 07:01 PM
 
Location: Chicago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeckOneDET View Post
Lansing, roughly the 3rd largest city in the state based on population statistics, also excluding Sterling Heights and the city of Warren. Obviously Detroit and Grand Rapids take first and second.
Pretty much has already been said, but without the prestigious Michigan State University located in East Lansing, the city would've probably looked more like it's counterparts to the east. Wouldn't say as bad as Flint or Detroit.
Public University's are undoubtedly a very important element for greater success in a city. Same story goes for Kalamazoo. In my opinion, Western Michigan University is the Best asset the city has to offer. Go Higher Education!
Doesn't WMU have less of an effect on Kalamazoo than MSU does on L/EL? That's no knock against Western Michigan which is a very good school. It's just that the state flagship schools like U-M and MSU through their size, research component, and state wide connection usually give true meaning to college towns like Ann Arbor and East Lansing in a way that other state universities (like WMU, CMU, EMU) don't give their home towns.
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Old 04-01-2011, 03:44 AM
 
Location: West Michigan
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Quote:
Doesn't WMU have less of an effect on Kalamazoo than MSU does on L/EL? That's no knock against Western Michigan which is a very good school. It's just that the state flagship schools like U-M and MSU through their size, research component, and state wide connection usually give true meaning to college towns like Ann Arbor and East Lansing in a way that other state universities (like WMU, CMU, EMU) don't give their home towns.
You would think so, but it doesn't work out that way. The MSU influence is almost totally confined to the small city of East Lansing, and it doesn't bleed into the parent city of Lansing much, other than a few grad students that don't want to live around the undergrads. So you end up with a small, vibrant college town while the larger city is sorta lifeless and dull. I think the Lansing suburb of Okemos actually has way more MSU influence than Lansing itself.

In Kalamazoo, on the other hand, the college kids actually go downtown and hang out, fill up the bars, etc. It's the "cool" thing to do, especially for upperclassmen.

I'm not sure why it is this way. Maybe because downtown Kalamazoo has a friendlier and trendier vibe than downtown Lansing, so it attracts the college crowd better. Or maybe it's because Lansing/EL has a natural dividing line, being two separate cities, while WMU and downtown Kalamazoo are within the same borders. Maybe if WMU was in "East Kalamazoo" the students would just stay there? Who knows.
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Old 04-03-2011, 04:36 PM
 
Location: Somewhere extremely awesome
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michigan83 View Post
You would think so, but it doesn't work out that way. The MSU influence is almost totally confined to the small city of East Lansing, and it doesn't bleed into the parent city of Lansing much, other than a few grad students that don't want to live around the undergrads. So you end up with a small, vibrant college town while the larger city is sorta lifeless and dull. I think the Lansing suburb of Okemos actually has way more MSU influence than Lansing itself.

In Kalamazoo, on the other hand, the college kids actually go downtown and hang out, fill up the bars, etc. It's the "cool" thing to do, especially for upperclassmen.

I'm not sure why it is this way. Maybe because downtown Kalamazoo has a friendlier and trendier vibe than downtown Lansing, so it attracts the college crowd better. Or maybe it's because Lansing/EL has a natural dividing line, being two separate cities, while WMU and downtown Kalamazoo are within the same borders. Maybe if WMU was in "East Kalamazoo" the students would just stay there? Who knows.
I think it's more proximity than anything. The bars in East Lansing are close and convenient, so college kids go to them. This, in turn, encourages more college students to go to downtown East Lansing. As a result, this is where the action is - well, for MSU students. It's kind of a vicious cycle, and it's not really going to change unless either the bar scene in downtown Lansing becomes amazing, or the bar scene in East Lansing becomes so horrible that students have no choice but to go elsewhere.

This really only holds true, however, for MSU students. A lot of young professionals and others in the area frequent downtown Lansing, and despite the proximity issue, students do make it into downtown Lansing on occasion.
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