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The Ultimate Detroit Thread

ChevyChaseDC

Cyburbian
Messages
190
Points
7
We've had multiple posts recently about aging rust belt cities of the north, including Buffalo and Rochester.

Metro Detroit, pushing 5 million people, dwarfs them all.

We often hear people comparing their own troubled cities to Detroit, and sensing superiority, feel better about their own localities..."at least we're not Detroit!"

My family still maintains a large contingent in the area - suburbs, of course - West Bloomfield and Farmington Hills to be exact. They all had lived in Detroit proper for decades, from when they first immigrated to the US from Eastern Europe at the turn of the 20th century to find factory jobs. They started leaving the city during WWII, after the first race riot. They were all gone to the suburbs by 1970, first to Southfield, and then farther out to their current environs.

In terms of city and regional planning, Detroit seems to suffer from a "perfect storm" of factors affecting its vitality and economy.

Geography: Downtown is stuck in what is now a remote corner of the Metro area as a whole. It is no longer the geographic center - the economic engines of the region are clustered in surburbs 20 miles to the north and west. Transportation infrastructure has reflected this.

Transportation: Ford, Chrysler, Jeffries, Lodge. These are the names of some of the freeways that criss-cross the city, cutting up neighborhoods, easing the escape out to the suburbs and beyond. Downtown is completely encircled by these roads. Also, there is one transit system for the city, D-DOT, and one for the suburbs, SMART. Neither is anything more than a bare-bones bus system. The "People Mover" runs circles around downtown, nearly empty at the height of rush hour.

Demographics: Metro Detroit is blue collar through and through. An area so heavily reliant on factory jobs remains low on rankings of affluence and education (except Oakland County). The young professionals so coveted by cities stay away from Detroit (though many find refuge in Ann Arbor, 45 miles to the west).

Leadership: The decades of Coleman Young and his administration's antagonistic relationship with the suburbs and the rest of the state has left permanent scars. Things have only gotten better since the early 90's in this regard, though there still remains deep distrust and cynicism on both sides of 8 Mile Road (btw, the movie "8 Mile" paints a pretty accurate picture of Detroit).

Economy: GM, Ford, DaimlerChrysler. Their subsidiaries. Parts manufacturers. Automobiles remain the economic backbone of the area. Changes in the national economy can be amplified in Detroit. When U.S. growth is robust, the Detroit area explodes with money(especially Oakland County). Likewise when America is in recession or any other slow time, the Detroit area economy suffers disproportionately.

Is there hope for Detroit? How can the city utilize best utilize its assets? Will it be able to attract new middle-class residents?

I highly recommend http://www.detroityes.com for a photo tour.
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
20,174
Points
51
ChevyChaseDC said:
Is there hope for Detroit? How can the city utilize best utilize its assets? Will it be able to attract new middle-class residents?

My mom grew up in inner city D because my Grandfather was one of the heads of the fire department in the 40’s 50’s 60’ and early 70’s. I remember when I was little, my grandfather would tell me stories about allot of the great things in the city… things that are still there today, but because of the perception of downtown, people do not want to be there.

I think that the new mayor has taken some steps towards the right direction, and with further suggestions, recommendations, and trying to employ some sort of community pride, the D can be a great place once again. I also agree with just about every thing that you said in your post.
 

Super Amputee Cat

Cyburbian
Messages
2,248
Points
30
I actually like Detroit a lot and would love to live there. I take my kids there on occasion and my son loves to ride the People Mover, which may be the best deal in town at 50 cents a ride. The downtown streets, away from the casinos anyway, are very quiet and I probably could ride my bike all over the place without worry of traffic.

Besides downtown, like Outer Drive, Indian Hills. I have also been to the Motown Museum. Northwest Detroit is kinds of surreal. The neighborhoods off of Evergreen Road south of Southfield are full of nice 1940s and 1950s Cape Cod homes, but the streets are (or were in the mid-1990s) littered with hulks of stripped automolibles. Very bewildering to see heaps of junk cars strewn about on residential streets amongs the well kept lawns.

But seeing all those decaying mansions in Brush is depressing as Hell and I hate what they did to Greektown. Still, since we live about 70 miles away, I plan to take my kids there whenever I can this summer.
 

ChevyChaseDC

Cyburbian
Messages
190
Points
7
Super Amputee Cat said:
I actually like Detroit a lot and would love to live there. I take my kids there on occasion and my son loves to ride the People Mover, which may be the best deal in town at 50 cents a ride. The downtown streets, away from the casinos anyway, are very quiet and I probably could ride my bike all over the place without worry of traffic.
Would you really love to live in Detroit? Detroit proper? Downtown, even? Or do you simply wish conditions in the city were such that it would be feasible for you and your family to live in the city of Detroit?

These are tough things to think about. As an urban planning community, we generally feel that we collectively do what we can to support our cities. However, our outlook can change pretty quickly when it comes to our own lives. If I were offered a job in Metro Detroit and decided to take it, I most certainly wouldn't live in the sterile sprawl of the outer suburbs. But I'd be hard pressed to want to live in the city of Detroit as things currently stand.
 

pete-rock

Cyburbian
Messages
1,550
Points
24
I've been gone for awhile, but I wanted to comment on this.

Although I left Detroit for good more than 20 years ago, I go back fairly regularly (once or twice a year or so). Growing up there in the '70s had a profound impact on my decision to become an urban planner. No question, Detroit has, for more than 30 years, been the poster child for American urban ills -- "cities, straighten up, or you could become Detroit!!!"

But Detroit wasn't always like it is now, and its course could've been altered.

After WWII, Detroit was the nation's fourth largest city, an explosively growing metropolis that played a vital role in equipping the American military. In the mid-1940s, Detroit was not unlike Los Angeles in the '60s and '70s, or Las Vegas today.

Imagine that you are elected Mayor of Detroit in 1945, and you know what lies ahead for Detroit. The city is perhaps 10-15 years away from reaching its zenith, and then the long decline begins. What, Throbbing Brain of Cyburbia, would you have done differently to change Detroit's fate?

I don't expect all of you to be intimately familiar with Detroit, but certainly there are some simple planning, economic and social principles that could have been utilized. I'll quickly offer a few:

1) Annexation. Detroit could not expand to its north, south or east in the '40s, but could've gone west. Places like Redford, Livonia, Dearborn Heights, Romulus, and others in Wayne County could've become part of the Motor City, and given it room to grow.

2) Diversification. After WWII, Detroit simply returned to making cars, after years of making tanks and planes. Couldn't Detroit have used its manufacturing know-how to establish defense companies and secure defense contracts? That just would have been the first step toward economic diversification.

I'd be interested in hearing your views.
 

Rumpy Tunanator

Cyburbian
Messages
4,473
Points
25
pete-rock said:
I don't expect all of you to be intimately familiar with Detroit, but certainly there are some simple planning, economic and social principles that could have been utilized. I'll quickly offer a few:

1) Annexation. Detroit could not expand to its north, south or east in the '40s, but could've gone west. Places like Redford, Livonia, Dearborn Heights, Romulus, and others in Wayne County could've become part of the Motor City, and given it room to grow.

2) Diversification. After WWII, Detroit simply returned to making cars, after years of making tanks and planes. Couldn't Detroit have used its manufacturing know-how to establish defense companies and secure defense contracts? That just would have been the first step toward economic diversification.

I'd be interested in hearing your views.
I've been to Detroit only once a few years back, and I can only give you the impression from the mind of somebody that got off the wrong exit. I was trying to go downtown but somehow I got off at the wrong exit (damn construction season) and ended up on a 8 lane arterial road with party stores and pawn shops on almost every corner. I can't speak from it from just that aspect, but it sounds similar to many older Northeastern and Great Lakes cities.

Annexation is a problem here as well in Buffalo, as NYS deems the practice illegal. Annexation would of helped our city as well, capture the tax-base of the middle-class that were fleeing the city after the 1950's.

Diversification was a major problem for most of the older industrial cities, as the national economy shifted from a manufacturing to service industry, and now technological/bio, etc. Buffalo clung on to the past as well and in turn shot itself in the foot as jobs moved south and overseas.

Another problem with our city and probally Detroit, is image. People in the suburbs around here think that the city is just a festering cesspool of crime, when in fact it is not true. Sure there are some areas that you shouldn't be in at a certian time, but most of the city is safe. People just have to change their perception and stop being afraid of everything all the time.
 

pete-rock

Cyburbian
Messages
1,550
Points
24
Of course, Detroit's image has for 30 or more years been one of crime, "murder capital of the world," the home of the drive-thru robbery, Devil's Night, etc. But Detroit didn't have that image in 1945. Also, it became impossible for Detroit to annex any suburban land after the early 1950s, and the suburbs expanded and incorporated. But there likely was a 5-7 year window of opportunity in the late 1940s for Detroit to gobble land.

What could've been done 60 years ago to prevent the city's demise? There is lots of talk about how bad Detroit is, but what could have changed its direction?

Another thing I'd add, if I was Detroit's mayor in 1945:

3) Education. By the 1940s, Detroit's Big Three had long become accustomed to hiring low-educated and low-skilled workers. But, even if the Big Three didn't see it, maybe city officials should've seen that a city of residents with little education and skill would hurt them in the future. Maybe a major research public university (which Wayne State University is not), maybe a branch of U-M -- could have been that kind of catalyst.
 

Wannaplan?

Bounty Hunter
Messages
3,216
Points
29
:y

ChevyChaseDC said:
Is there hope for Detroit? How can the city utilize best utilize its assets?
Have you heard about the $50 million that the Kresge Foundation is throwing at the Riverfront improvements? Take a look: http://www.freep.com/money/business/walsh12_20021212.htm

And be sure to get familiar with the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy: http://www.detroitriverfront.org/

Also, the University of Michigan gets their mitts all over Detroit, too. For example: http://www.tcaup.umich.edu/charrette/
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,463
Points
29
I grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana aboutn three hours from Detroit, but haven't really been back in a while.

From a "planners'" perspecitve, I see Detroit as the future of the United States to a frightening degree: A low density, largely Euclidean zoned, sprawling automobile-oriented city built for planned obsolescence and easy profit. I'm surprised you liked it, Cat, as much of Detroit is simply an earlier version of the suburban sprawl you profess to hate.. :) Much of Los Angeles would already be (is?) spiralling down that road except for the high immigration rates from Mexico and Asia. What happened to the turn of the century through 1940s bungalows and frame house neighborhoods of Detroit, the "American Dream" could easily happen to almost any Sunbelt surburban sprawl. There are neighborhoods in my workplace which are decaying after only 30 years (hell, 20 years. Kauffman and Broad was not known for quality construction during their early days)! Especially since the price inflation means the new homeowners are often stretched to the very breaking point by their mortgages (low interest rates or not)

I know there are exceptions to Detroit's problems, and the examples of rebirth are positive and hopeful.

What could they have done differently? Of course, the ideas others have said. But, Detroit made an early decision to pursue a "suburban" dream that is still dominant. I doubt if any 1945 mayor would have been pushing true mixed use development, densification and diversification of the housing stock, real inter-racial cooperation.

Just my rant for the day. :) I hope things do turn around.
 

biscuit

Cyburbian
Messages
3,904
Points
25
Interestingly enough, I believe that Detroit's mayor is a member of Cyburbia. Although he stopped posting after he was outed. I for one would really like to learn his thoughts on a 'What if' Detroit.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Great topic, Pete - maybe even a new thread. You are right in all of your list and all I can do is add to it. Sorry to say it, but unions were a big part of the region's downfall. The intensity of union activity at the same time the south began making its first concerted effort to draw northern firms, offering cheap land, low wages and almost no unionization, gave business a very good reason to look to expand elsewhere. I think you also have to fault the big industry, meaning automobile manufacturing. They stuck to a single model and almost even opposed innovation, so that by the time the 70's rolled around, they were sitting ducks for foreign manufacturers. Racial segregation has to be a huge factor, and the urban renewal activities of the 60's only made things worse.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,463
Points
29
Cardinale makes a lot of good points!

This is a great thread. It's important because couldn't Detroit be the future of the United States as a whole? Physically a country of "places not worth caring about." Economically: For the South, read India or China, or even European countries that have socialized healthcare removing a huge direct burden from their corporations ( a reason one chip plant located in Ireland instead of the United States).

His description sounds exactly like the "offshoring" debate now underway.

(Not to drag this post off topic. Sorry. )
 

mpodemski

Member
Messages
6
Points
0
There is actually alot of great stuff happening in Detroit right now. The city of Detroit is embarking on a huge redevelopment of the Far East Side. Which is a neighborhood that had been almost completely reduced to urban prarie and where the city owned most of the land by tax default. The city is now litteraly rebuilding the neighborhood by filling in houses and commercial store fronts on the vacant land. This is a very exciting project and is evidence of a revival.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,463
Points
29
There was an interesting article in Metropolis magazine this week on Helsinki, Finland. One of the reasons for "successful" planning in Helsinki, the article claimed, was that the City itself acquired much of the land (70%) during the Depression. We (planners) then work directly with developers to build new neighborhood centers

That may very well be a key to Detroit's success, as well. If the City can do more than lowest common denominator/standard suburban style development, it may lay the groundwork for a revival.
 

ChevyChaseDC

Cyburbian
Messages
190
Points
7
BKM said:
We (planners) then work directly with developers to build new neighborhood centers

That may very well be a key to Detroit's success, as well. If the City can do more than lowest common denominator/standard suburban style development, it may lay the groundwork for a revival.

Last summer I sailed from a marina located underneath the old Detroit Edison coal chutes along the Detroit River, on up to the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club (not my boat, nor club membership!) on Lake Saint Clair. One of the vast abandoned industrial lots along the river in Detroit proper had been "revitalized" - with cul-de-sacs and suburban tract houses. I'm not sure if they quite get it over there.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,463
Points
29
Well, during the, I'm guessing, early 80s/late 70s, Oakland, CA tried to do the same thing. Combine awful, bland suburban design with typical cheap ass California construction, and twenty years later, the houses are not looking too good. Especially when the residents paint their suburban garage-front style houses bilous hospital green :)
 

plankton

Cyburbian
Messages
750
Points
21
shhh.....bicycle friendly Detroit!

After graduating from State in '93 I lived in Hamtramck for a few years and worked at the Detroit Medical Center. I biked to work (about 5 miles one-way) on surface streets almost every day in the Spring, Summer and Fall....it was always fun, interesting, and invigorating. Those pesky pit bulls nipping at my heels sure kept me on my toes though.

I always look forward to visiting, but my last trip to Detoit was pretty damn depressing - my old house (6 Mile & Gratiot area) was no more. The whole block resembled a disaster area - I watched two young schoolgirls sift through broken glass and mattress springs looking for that all-too-elusive "buried treasure of the city". I don't think they found it.... My brother keeps telling me he's going to buy the lot - I hope he does.

I could never see living there again but I really miss the ethnic festivals at Hart Plaza, Red Wing party-hopping at Andrews, et al, raging in the Warehouse District, etc. I wish Detroit all the best and gotta believe that there's nowhere to go but up.....right? :-\
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
9,329
Points
31
In the mid-1960's, just out of high school (suburban Toledo, only 55 miles from dt Detroit), I was in Motown every weekend, visiting a girlfriend who lived there. She lived just off Fenkel, nw city limits, and even-then her neighborhood, with nice 2-story brick houses, was getting shabby. "White-flight" was real back then, and some pretty serious race riots sealed the verdict for many, including her parents. They immediately moved to Birmingham, 1960's "ritzy burb".

Over the years, being a Wings and Tiger fan, I was often in Detoit for games. Seems like every trip, the central city would seem shabbier. How much of this was just that typical middle-class perception? Dont' know.

The suburbs, especially nw of town, exploded with growth (can you say sprawl?).
Drop any Cyburbia poster in the Auburn Hills area and ask them where they are. The answers will include Atlanta, Chicago, Jersey, etc. Detroit still has a lot of money floating around those suburbs and just about every roadway resembles the suburbs of many other American cities.

But drive into the central city......

Bear
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Bear Up North said:
In the mid-1960's, just out of high school (suburban Toledo, only 55 miles from dt Detroit), I was in Motown every weekend, visiting a girlfriend who lived there. She lived just off Fenkel, nw city limits, and even-then her neighborhood, with nice 2-story brick houses, was getting shabby. "White-flight" was real back then, and some pretty serious race riots sealed the verdict for many, including her parents. They immediately moved to Birmingham, 1960's "ritzy burb".

Over the years, being a Wings and Tiger fan, I was often in Detoit for games. Seems like every trip, the central city would seem shabbier. How much of this was just that typical middle-class perception? Dont' know.

The suburbs, especially nw of town, exploded with growth (can you say sprawl?).
Drop any Cyburbia poster in the Auburn Hills area and ask them where they are. The answers will include Atlanta, Chicago, Jersey, etc. Detroit still has a lot of money floating around those suburbs and just about every roadway resembles the suburbs of many other American cities.

But drive into the central city......

Bear
Yeah, Detroit just kept going downhill. I remember it from frequent trips in the late 60's and early 70's from Chicago to Hamilton to visit the family. The great landmarks along the route included the steel mills around Gary, the dunes in southwest Michigan, and Battle Creek for its cereal. Nearing Detroit, there was the Uniroyal tire and the auto plants. Then - and it didn't matter if we took the tunnel or the bridge - we would pass into a desolate land of ruined, burned-out buildings. Even then it bothered me to see neighborhoods that were once vibrant, suffering such complete ruin.
 
Messages
19
Points
1
Detroit Makes My Heart Go Pitter Patter

ChevyChaseDC said:
Would you really love to live in Detroit? Detroit proper? Downtown, even? Or do you simply wish conditions in the city were such that it would be feasible for you and your family to live in the city of Detroit?

These are tough things to think about. As an urban planning community, we generally feel that we collectively do what we can to support our cities. However, our outlook can change pretty quickly when it comes to our own lives. If I were offered a job in Metro Detroit and decided to take it, I most certainly wouldn't live in the sterile sprawl of the outer suburbs. But I'd be hard pressed to want to live in the city of Detroit as things currently stand.
I traveled to Brush Park last year to take photos. It was like a nuclear winter, but you could see what "could be" there. To me, Detroit has the best "bones" of any city, and as a city lover, I feel like "helping out." I used to be a planner in Chattanooga, and it was a hole in the 70s (like people see Detroit today), and now it is the most celebrated turnaround city in the south. Detroit could do this, it will just take a lot of commitment and billions of dollars. But it can be done. I love Detroit because of its potential, if nothing else.
 

mgk920

Cyburbian
Messages
4,202
Points
26
Cardinal said:
Great topic, Pete - maybe even a new thread. You are right in all of your list and all I can do is add to it. Sorry to say it, but unions were a big part of the region's downfall. The intensity of union activity at the same time the south began making its first concerted effort to draw northern firms, offering cheap land, low wages and almost no unionization, gave business a very good reason to look to expand elsewhere. I think you also have to fault the big industry, meaning automobile manufacturing. They stuck to a single model and almost even opposed innovation, so that by the time the 70's rolled around, they were sitting ducks for foreign manufacturers. Racial segregation has to be a huge factor, and the urban renewal activities of the 60's only made things worse.
Another major factor in depopulating the City of Detroit was the disastrous social engineering experiments of the 1960s and 1970s, the most major being the Federal court-ordered forced busing for school desegregation. When that happened, most families who could fled to suburban places where their kids could walk to neighborhood schools.

In the long run, and I have been thinking this way for many years, I can see the City of Detroit becoming sort of a 'suburb of the suburbs', this as younger, cutting-edge entreprenurial developers (people with no memories of the race-riots and 'devils' nights', et al) start discovering all of this cheap land in easily accessable, close-in places in the city. The biggest thing that that needs is a city administration that is more conversant with the day-to-day realities of life and less concerned with 'touchy-feelyism' than they were in the past.

So far I am hopefull with the course of the current administration, although it will take a _LOT_ of time to undo the damage done during the Coleman Young years.

Mike
 

DetroitPlanner

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
6,241
Points
27
Yes there is hope for Detroit

HI, I'm new to posting to this board though I've lurked it for several years. I grew up in Detroit and have lived within its boundaries my entire life. I found the crack someone previoulsy made regarding Wayne State not being a major research institution as being very off-handed. Wayne has one of the largest medical schools in the county. It has a college of urban affairs, not simply a department tacked onto a landscape architecture program as many colleges have. Without institions such as Wayne, the blue collar types who have mostly been shut out of schoold like U of M (due to cost of tuition and room/board) would have little, if any opportunity to attend college.

It is true that the Detroit region as a whole is surffering from the loss of a manufacturing based economy. However, Detroit proper is actually starting to gain ground on many stable fronts. It is taking advantage of its location and strenthening its trading partner status with Canada. Over the last year about 8,000 new jobs have descended upon its central business district fueling more retail than ever. Did you know that there is a Brooks Brothers in Downtown Detroit? Lots of retail is moving into the city to join it. Recently a new Department store actually opened in Downtown. When was the last time that happened? Most cities are losing department stores. If Detroit was lacking education as some posts indicate, why does downtown have a Borders, a Barnes and Nobles, a Waldenbooks, and several large used book stores (one taking up the entire size of a turn-of-the-centruy factory)? It is hardly a town that is illiterate by any means.

A picture is painted here of a desperate city. You know what? Detroit is in bad shape, its been in bad shape for quite a long time. It knows how to deal with major problems that other cities have yet to encounter. Its not pretty, but when you have limited resources you make due. It also suffers from an internal struggle with the rest of the urban area. Mountains are made out of molehills. Win/Win situations are difficult to put together here. Everyone is watching out for their own, in most cases this is a good thing, but sometimes its taken to an extreme.

Besides stores those new jobs downtown have created new neighborhoods pooping up along Woodward avenues as if they are weeds. This area is quickly transforming to a mixture of Condos in old buildings and row homes, most of which carry a $200-$400k price tag. For the mid west folks, thats a lot of money for a house, and developers can't build them fast enough. Yes there are old neighborhoods that are in decline, but there are also numerous old neighborhoods that are very stable. I live in such a neighborhood and have all my life. My house was never broken into and I've never been robbed, or had a gun pointed at me. You know what? Most people living in Detroit have the same experience. If you're flashy, look for trouble, or are involved in the underworld, then its a different story. But this is by far the minority of city residents.

Yes its not a sanitized white bread place, and it never was. Yet somehow I know that I'm better and more compassionate because I've grown up inside it and been exposed to seeing the world from a different angle than your typical college grad.

These days I'm more concerned about the smaller cities that surround Detroit than the city itself. These areas are becoming blighted at possible the worst time in american history. There is no Johnson and his great society anymore, most suburbs of this type have very serious deficit problems, and cannot turn to the state to help bail them out.
 

Wannaplan?

Bounty Hunter
Messages
3,216
Points
29
DetroitPlanner said:
Besides stores those new jobs downtown have created new neighborhoods pooping up along Woodward avenues as if they are weeds. This area is quickly transforming to a mixture of Condos in old buildings and row homes, most of which carry a $200-$400k price tag.
LOL! :-D

But seriously, today's Detroit Free Press has a great article on Mid-Town's resurgence. I picked it up at lunch, but the article isn't available online. Here's the closest you can get to reading it online: http://www.freep.com/news/metro/midtown.htm

This image is from the front page:

 

mgk920

Cyburbian
Messages
4,202
Points
26
DetroitPlanner said:
HI, I'm new to posting to this board though I've lurked it for several years. I grew up in Detroit and have lived within its boundaries my entire life.

These days I'm more concerned about the smaller cities that surround Detroit than the city itself. These areas are becoming blighted at possible the worst time in american history. There is no Johnson and his great society anymore, most suburbs of this type have very serious deficit problems, and cannot turn to the state to help bail them out.
With these suburban budget problems, is it beyond the range of possibility to start seeing some inter-municipal mergers in the Detroit area within the next few years, perhaps some involving the city itself?

I am aware of some of the redevelopment that is occurring in the city. Might we be seeing the beginnings of another Cleveland, OH in the works?

Also, what effects could an EU-style USA-Canada customs union have on Detroit (besides needing more and higher-capacity river crossings), if such could be negotiated?

Mike
 

DetroitPlanner

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
6,241
Points
27
Q. With these suburban budget problems, is it beyond the range of possibility to start seeing some inter-municipal mergers in the Detroit area within the next few years, perhaps some involving the city itself?

A. Consoldation of services across municipal boundaries is arelady begining to happen. Prime examples include fire departments.

Q. I am aware of some of the redevelopment that is occurring in the city. Might we be seeing the beginnings of another Cleveland, OH in the works?

A. Cleveland? We already have our new stadiums (as does Cleveland), and along Woodward (our Euclid) nearly every building in the CBD is under construction, being converted into lofts with first floor retail. You could make some comparisons, but each of the rust belt cities is different (Cleveland has no international link, metro Detroit is much larger (5.4 million including Canadian suburbs), Pittburgh's topography limits the new trends in development)

Q. Also, what effects could an EU-style USA-Canada customs union have on Detroit (besides needing more and higher-capacity river crossings), if such could be negotiated?

A. Detroit is directly N of Windsor, Ontario. As of 9/11 increased capacity is only needed when there are border shutdowns. There are plans being developed mutually by Michigan/Ontario to determine where we are heading, but there is still a lack of consensus on where, and private developers are starting to swarm all over it. Prior to 9/11 many advancements were made for intermodal transfer of goods. Rail also crosses in Detroit via a tunnel and it is also an international seaport.
 

Rumpy Tunanator

Cyburbian
Messages
4,473
Points
25
DetroitPlanner said:
A. Detroit is directly N of Windsor, Ontario. As of 9/11 increased capacity is only needed when there are border shutdowns. There are plans being developed mutually by Michigan/Ontario to determine where we are heading, but there is still a lack of consensus on where, and private developers are starting to swarm all over it. Prior to 9/11 many advancements were made for intermodal transfer of goods. Rail also crosses in Detroit via a tunnel and it is also an international seaport.
Hey DetroitPlanner, do you have any links to economic programs or incentives used in Detroit and the effects of NAFTA on Detroit's economy, as well as the border crossing. Also the advancements made for intermodel transfer of goods.

I know the Ambassador crew has been lurking around our city, looking to put a trucks only bridge by the international RR bridge.
 

DetroitPlanner

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
6,241
Points
27
Hey DetroitPlanner, do you have any links to economic programs or incentives used in Detroit and the effects of NAFTA on Detroit's economy, as well as the border crossing. Also the advancements made for intermodel transfer of goods.

I know the Ambassador crew has been lurking around our city, looking to put a trucks only bridge by the international RR bridge.

Here are a few:

http://www.partnershipborderstudy.com/

http://www.michigan.gov/mdot/0,1607,7-151-9621_11058_22978---,00.html

http://www.michigan.gov/mdot/0,1607,7-151-9621_11058_26215---,00.html

http://www.michigan.gov/mdot/0,1607,7-151-9621_11058_29109---,00.html

http://www.city.windsor.on.ca/corpmediarelease/documents/2003 newreleases/Ward 2 Public Meeting.pdf
 

MalContent

Member
Messages
8
Points
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mgk920 said:
With these suburban budget problems, is it beyond the range of possibility to start seeing some inter-municipal mergers in the Detroit area within the next few years, perhaps some involving the city itself?
Just a few words on the merger thing.. Lately there has been increased activity on that front, with cities in Oakland talking about fire mergers. That, however, appears to be 4 years distant, IF the cities don't merge completely first. Only savings in fire would come on the administrative end, no cuts in manpower.

Back in 1928, I think, what was then Royal Oak Township, which included the cities of Oak Park, Hazel Park, Madison Heights and possibly others voted to be annexed to the city of Detroit, voters in Detroit rejected that notion.
 

DetroitPlanner

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Wanigas!

Now thats the Downtown of my youth! None of the fancy scmancy buildings, the good ole days of Downtown Detroit Days, Boston Coolers at Sanders, and the Big Flag on the side of Hudson's! Things have changed so much since then. I now work in one of the buildings shown on your skyline pic.
 
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