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What is happening to our city and metro area?


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What is going to happen to the Detroit area with so many jobs being lost and losing a substantial amount of our industry? When will the downward spiral end? Will we keep just abandoning our region and end up moving somewhere else? Does anyone have any ideas of what we can do as a region and as a people to move forward from this instead of back?

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First, there needs to be a huge emphasis on education reform in the city of Detroit along with greater access to college, perhaps offering scholarships for qualifying academic performance like in Georgia or Texas.

For the city of Detroit, the state, city, and owners of property should work to build a land bank that will help to consolidate vacant areas and plan for future parks, infrastructure, transportation, or development. Additionally, landlords and property owners should be held to strict standards for existing structures.

In order to attract business, the city should work with private developers to create new or updated office space that is affordable. Try to create a culture of entrepreneurship through work with banks and universities and tout the low costs of doing business in the city. Detroit would also make an excellent location for a university or satellite campuses.

In order to retain or attract people to the city, develop the waterfront and create recreational facilities. Strongly incentivize new development close to the CBD of affordable housing with access to food retailers and quality schools.

The biggest thing that has been killing Detroit for so long is the perception of a dilapidated city with many abandoned buildings and high crime. While it is very much true, there seems to have been very little done to reverse this other than the casinos and sports facilities. Those are great but if there are buildings falling apart and there are overgrown weeds on ugly parking lots close to them then it can be hard to have pride in the city. Because the city is the shell of one with half the population it had 50 years ago, it must learn to operate a little differently and better manage the resources it does have.

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Those are some really impressive ideas. I've heard 2 great ideas for education. One I think is being implemented in Lansing area (I'm not sure thought). If a school fails standards, the teachers and parents can vote to turn the school into a charter school. I'm not sure of all the details. I know charter schools are better but I don't really know why or how...any enlightenment/further explanation would be great.

Another idea which I heard about during the Obama campaign, which I am unclear about as well was a plan that rewarded schools that had higher achievement and also had required after-school programs. Students would earn points for going to tutoring as well. If they wanted to play on a sports team, they had to have the grades too. I'm not sure if this program is it, but it might be.


Bottomline, a city isn't made by its buildings and structures; its made by its people. Once the people's mentality changes, then we will see what can become of the new Detroit. This is all much easier said than done because we all know there are probably thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of Detroiters who have the mentality to improve their city, but lack the resources. Part of the vicious cycle I guess?

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I also believe in education as the primary engine for Detroit's rehabilitation but from a different perspective. Michigan is loaded with great colleges and Universities. The city and the state should establish an academic haven downtown with a consortium of schools such as University of Detroit , Wayne State, and University of Michigan and Michigan State and all other major Michigan schools all having presence downtown. The research arms of these institutions could be relocated to downtown Detroit along with the significant student populations. All the empty buildings downtown can be utilized by this consortium. Think of the inventions and entrepreneurial developments that could come from this brain trust.

Think of the business connections and support facilities that could lead to Detroit being a headquarters city waiting and willing...Think San Jose, Austin, Raleigh, Boston, and Seattle. Demolish all the empty old homes/slums and empty lots and establish green space and a chain of world class parks and recreation facilities for the new student residents.

Detroit must re-invent itself!!! Think outside the box!

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That's an awesome idea...Detroit start anew with a different focus. MSU just opened up its Detroit branch of Osteopathic Medicine downtown, making 50 new spots for medical students downtown.

I was just thinking that today, that our education institutions are awesome here and we should turn that into our new major industry. I know a lot of engineers who have moved from Michigan in the past 6 months to non-automotive jobs in other states. I think those jobs will come back if Obama's plan of converting al ot of these automotive factories into solar panel producing factories, hybrid factories, and other alternative energy uses becomes actualized.

UMich is such a national powerhouse in research, education, and sports. Maybe they could start a program there that makes students think and be creative of ways to improve Michigan/Metro Detroit and retain a highly educated population here.

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