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Thread: Detroit: Then, Now, The Future

  1. #76
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    Requiem for Detroit. Beautifully produced, but I think the BBC special oversimplifies the reasons behind Detroit's rise and fall.
    Watched this the other day. I agree.

    It's great though for someone like me from Australia to see how things can go so wrong. I'll be watching American cities like Detroit and New Orleans very closely over the next few decades to see what happens. Maybe I'll come over and check it out for myself.

  2. #77
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    Saw this and thought it would be of interest. Pictures of the interiors of abandoned derelict buildings in the motor city.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesi...173054&index=0
    "Whatever beer I'm drinking, is better than the one I'm not." DMLW
    "Budweiser sells a product they reflectively insist on calling beer." John Oliver

  3. #78

    Squatters in Detroit

    So, we all know that Detroit has copious amounts of abandoned buildings. But I heard a rumor that the city government is working with low-income and homeless people to simply [I]give[I] them vacant properties. And I don't mean in the old, rigidly bureaucratic Federal-Urban-Homesteading-Program-of-the-'70s-and-'80s type of way. I mean, I think that they're just giving buildings to squatters.

    Does anybody know any more about this? All I heard was a rumor.

    Thanks!

  4. #79
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dobbz View post
    So, we all know that Detroit has copious amounts of abandoned buildings. But I heard a rumor that the city government is working with low-income and homeless people to simply [I]give[I] them vacant properties. And I don't mean in the old, rigidly bureaucratic Federal-Urban-Homesteading-Program-of-the-'70s-and-'80s type of way. I mean, I think that they're just giving buildings to squatters.

    Does anybody know any more about this? All I heard was a rumor.

    Thanks!
    I doubt that. Squatters cause a lot of problems for the City. Illegal gas, water, and electric hook-ups are a real problem and cause countless of fires while stealing tax revenues. Squatters live on the fringe of society and will do things like sell drugs turning the neighborhoods into areas that bring addicts and prostitutes.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  5. #80
    Cyburbian
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    There was an interesting article on shrinking cities in the Chicago Sun-Times on Tuesday:

    http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/4...ink-small.html

  6. #81
    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner View post
    I doubt that. Squatters cause a lot of problems for the City. Illegal gas, water, and electric hook-ups are a real problem and cause countless of fires while stealing tax revenues. Squatters live on the fringe of society and will do things like sell drugs turning the neighborhoods into areas that bring addicts and prostitutes.
    Actually, it is really hard to generalize about squatters. Historically, they have been some of the first agents of gentrification in neighborhoods like the Lower East Side of New York. Indeed, there is certainly the brand of squatter that you are referring to—who gradually contribute to the degradation of a structure—but there is also the type of squatter who purposefully revitalizes a building with a plan (or at least a hope) to live in it long term.

    In the case of Detroit and its relationship to squatters, my impression was that it was more like authorities were turning a blind eye to constructive squatters. (After all, why not? They weren't getting tax revenue from those thousands of empty properties anyway.) Nuisance squatters are a different story.

  7. #82
    Cyburbian
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    Detroit should give it's abandon homes to the wave of Japanese immigrants that I suspect will be coming soon.

  8. #83
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dobbz View post
    In the case of Detroit and its relationship to squatters, my impression was that it was more like authorities were turning a blind eye to constructive squatters. (After all, why not? They weren't getting tax revenue from those thousands of empty properties anyway.) Nuisance squatters are a different story.
    My neighborhood has started to get some nuisance squatters in it. Its making my life very stressful. I'm looking to move.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  9. #84
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    "Soul-Crushing Sprawl"

    This is a very succinct article.

    We've got highlights:

    People – particularly affluent and educated people – just don’t want to live here.

    There’s a simple reason why many people don’t want to live here: it’s an unpleasant place because most of it is visually unattractive and because it is lacking in quality living options other than tract suburbia. Some might call this poor “quality of life.” A better term might be poor “quality of place.” In Metro Detroit, we have built a very bad physical place. We don’t have charming, vibrant cities and we don’t have open space. What we do have are several thousand of miles of streets that look like this:

    http://rustwire.com/wp-content/uploa.../Picture-8.png

    Things are spread too far apart. You have to drive everywhere. There’s no mass transit. There are no viable cities. Lots of it is really ugly, especially the mile after mile of sterile and often dingy suburban strip shopping and utility wires that line our dilapidated roads (note above). There’s no nearby open space for most people (living in Birmingham, it’s 45 minutes in traffic to places like Proud Lake or Kensington). It’s impossible to get around by bike without taking your life in your hands. Most people lead sedentary lifestyles. There’s a grating “car culture” that is really off-putting to many people from outside of Michigan.

    our political and business leadership does not view poor quality of place as a problem and certainly lacks motivation to address the issue.

    For example, some boosters trumpet our “unrivaled” freeway system as if
    freeways and sprawl they engender are “quality of life” assets. In San Francisco, the place sucking up all the talent and money, they have removed — literally torn out of the ground — two freeways because people prefer not to have them. I noted one “Quality of Life” page of a Detroit area economic development website featured a prominent picture of an enclosed regional shopping mall! Yuck. It’s theater of the absurd.

    Indeed, MDOT officials lie awake at night thinking of ways to thwart the efforts of local communities along Woodward to become more walkable.

  10. #85
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Cities provide "critical mass"

    No, not the infamous monthly bike ride!

    http://www.freep.com/article/2011032...xt|FRONTPAGE|s

    Greektown isn't any neighborhood. It's a 24-hour urban village, a place where a polyglot of people -- casino-goers and diners, cops and judges, janitors and musicians, criminal suspects on their way to the county jail and bail bondsmen on their way to spring them -- share the same sidewalks, restaurants and bars.

    ...
    In the end, the robbery was foiled by critical mass -- the same concentration of fundamentally law-abiding people that keeps the public safe at a crowded baseball stadium, on a busy college campus, or on city streets lined with well-populated porches and stoops. It's the concentration Bing wants to re-create or reinforce in a city whose eyes and ears are currently dispersed across too many blocks.

    Critical mass is the reason cities were invented. It's what makes them interesting and exasperating, challenging and fun.

  11. #86
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Trying to link critical mass of Greektown to the issues of Detroit Works is a bit of a stretch. Detroit Works is about neighborhoods looking for better services, schools, parks, and safety. Greektown is a small district of Downtown that mostly services the Courts during the day and the drunks at night. Hence it has a lot of both police presence and people. You don't have this in your average neighborhood.

    The concerns of the residents are valid. The writer of this article is a bit flippant about those concerns.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  12. #87
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    The saxophonist would make a better living busking than basking. Or is just that the writer and/or editor didn't know the difference?
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  13. #88
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ofos View post
    The saxophonist would make a better living busking than basking. Or is just that the writer and/or editor didn't know the difference?
    Unfortunately the Freep ain't what it used to be.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  14. #89
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    They fixed busking.

  15. #90
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Veloise View post
    They fixed busking.
    Isn't electronic journalism great? Did they acknowledge the revision? Back in the day, I much preferred the Daily Freep to the Morning Snews.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  16. #91
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ofos View post
    Isn't electronic journalism great? Did they acknowledge the revision? Back in the day, I much preferred the Daily Freep to the Morning Snews.
    No acknowledgment on-line. I'm guessing it was a copy editor (surely Brian Dickerson understands the difference). May be the one who tagged the new Mexicantown bridge in front of a video camera, and subsequently was relieved of her blogging duties.

    My family was a Snooze subscriber, and it wasn't until junior high (dating myself!) that I knew there was an alternative. George Puscas' son was in my homeroom class, and he'd be sitting there reading a morning newspaper. I became a Freepie, and used to correspond with the likes of Bob Talbert and M.L. Elrick. (I think he won an award for something a couple years ago.)

    Helpful hint: if you contribute tips to a journalist, those might get published. And sometimes this can be helpful in your career or causes.

  17. #92
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Veloise View post
    Helpful hint: if you contribute tips to a journalist, those might get published. And sometimes this can be helpful in your career or causes.
    I didn't know you were at the Manoogian party!
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  18. #93
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner View post
    I didn't know you were at the Manoogian party!
    But there wasn't a party. Kwame said so.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  19. #94
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post
    But there wasn't a party. Kwame said so.
    I am pretty sure that just because Kwame said something thats not proof of anything! He has been caught with his hand in more cookie jars than the Cookie Monster.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  20. #95
    Cyburbian SW MI Planner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner View post
    I am pretty sure that just because Kwame said something thats not proof of anything! He has been caught with his hand in more cookie jars than the Cookie Monster.
    Loving the double entrendre....

  21. #96
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    This is cool

    "Your great idea about Detroit media could net you $5,000!

    The sky’s literally the limit. You can submit as often as you like. Ideas might include covering people and places across Michigan — in print, digitally, and other ways; they might be about more effectively helping others in the community; about saving readers time and money; about doing business more effectively."

    http://ideaquest.michigan.com/

  22. #97
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner View post
    Trying to link critical mass of Greektown to the issues of Detroit Works is a bit of a stretch. Detroit Works is about neighborhoods looking for better services, schools, parks, and safety. Greektown is a small district of Downtown that mostly services the Courts during the day and the drunks at night. Hence it has a lot of both police presence and people. You don't have this in your average neighborhood.

    The concerns of the residents are valid. The writer of this article is a bit flippant about those concerns.
    Well, golly gee, why don't these local yokels hire private contractors to pick up their garbage, clean their streets, and patrol their neighborhoods? Everybody knows that private schools are infinitely superior to public schools, so why are they sending their kids there? Do they want to doom them to mediocrity?

  23. #98
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Linda_D View post
    Well, golly gee, why don't these local yokels hire private contractors to pick up their garbage, clean their streets, and patrol their neighborhoods? Everybody knows that private schools are infinitely superior to public schools, so why are they sending their kids there? Do they want to doom them to mediocrity?
    80 mills plus high levels of poverty. Unless you live in the few uber rich areas of the City it is impossible. This is a city built for 2 million rich relatively well-off folks trying to survive with a total population of 700,000 mostly broke folks.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  24. #99
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Good news finally!

    http://www.detnews.com/article/20110...50376/1001/biz

    State's job growth 10 times expected recovery rateBrian J. O'Connor / Detroit News Finance Editor
    Michigan will add more than 10 times as many new jobs as economists predicted just months ago, thanks to recent data revisions that show the Michigan economy is off to a stronger-than-expected start for the year.

    All told, the state should add 64,600 jobs this year compared with the 6,300 predicted when the University of Michigan's Research Seminar in Quantitative Economics released its forecast in November.



    From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20110405/...#ixzz1IeUy14NT

    While it is doubtful we will never recover all of the nearly 1 million jobs lost, it is a step in the right direction. We need more diversification in our economy but need to do so while tending the the billion pound gorrillas of our manufacturers.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  25. #100
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Newest hot job market for techies: Detroit

    I'm sure this will appear in more news media besides Austin.

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