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Username: Punkrocknerd

Post Number: 1
Registered: 05-2007
Posted on Thursday, February 07, 2008 - 4:55 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hello All,

I’ve been enjoying this message board for around a year but have not posted till now. I believe for the purposes of a research project I’m conducting at Wayne State University in the Anthropology Department this is the perfect forum to pose these questions. Below are the title and purpose of my study:

The New Detroiters: Suburban-Urban Migration

The purpose of this study is to examine the question of why suburbanites from Metropolatian Detroit are migrating into one of Detroit’s most blighted urban neighborhoods “The Cass Corridor”. These in-movers are generally labeled as gentrifiers, and the process not migration but gentrification. For this study I will set aside the gentrification label and its preconceived connotations (displacement of working-class and low-income residents) in order to gain a more nuanced understanding of the phenomenon. In this study the question to be interrogated is what moving to ‘The Cass Corridor’ means to the suburban-urban migrants themselves. This study is being conducted in the Cass Corridor Neighborhood of Detroit Michigan

I would love any insights and or feedback that people have. I think this forum will provide very interesting and diverse opinions on this topic. Thanks
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Username: Detroitrise

Post Number: 1529
Registered: 09-2007
Posted on Thursday, February 07, 2008 - 5:16 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Well, many of the gentrifiers likely have some associations with WSU/DMC. Plus, it's the style of life you're laying out for yourself. Imagine, we'll have a bustling urban core in the next 25 years with Entertainment, possibly employment and shopping and lively culture all within walking distance.

Besides, the suburban life is only a 15 minute ride up any of the freeways (or Woodward).
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Username: Lo_to_d

Post Number: 52
Registered: 07-2007
Posted on Thursday, February 07, 2008 - 5:42 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I grew up in suburban Detroit and grew bored of suburban life. I wanted to live in a city, I chose Chicago. I thought about Detroit but didn't really explore it. After living in another city, i really started to appreciate Detroit, thinking why not live in Detroit (leaving out the obvious reasons). I moved back to Detroit (midtown) after three years in Chicago. I know many others who needed to live in another city before really being ready to live in Detroit. I think that migration (move out of state and then back to the city of Detroit) is just as high, if not higher, than the local suburban-urban migration because of the ingrained stereotypes created by ourselves.

To answer your question, why the "the cass corridor," I feel it has the most immediate potential.
- WSU is definitely making strides converting from a commuter campus.
- Proximity to the Cultural Center, Downtown, Eastern Market, and WSU is great.
- The DMC is expanding and hiring.
- More businesses are opening
- Potential transit up woodward :-)
- But most of all, the diversity. I feel sheltered from the BS life style that many suburbanites live. In there gated communities, and quarantined townships, trying to act like they are so far away from the broke people living in the Cass corridor and other places. It feels good to know I'm not living my life the way our local upper class society says I should.

Everyone in the region is somewhat responsible for the blight in the cass corridor area, not just the government of Detroit (like so many ignorant suburbanites like to believe).

Hope this helps.
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Username: Rocket_city

Post Number: 589
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Thursday, February 07, 2008 - 8:57 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It's also heavily dependent of the existence of a built (yet severely neglected) infrastructure that has all of the qualities of what new market-rate development on undeveloped land is aiming for...only better and much more sophisticated, which is why you hear people marketing their projects as "New York-style, or Chicago-style". I did some lease work at one of the downtown loft conversions a few years ago and those kinds of phrases are what my company banked on to lure interested lease holders.

TIME is also a big factor in this study. Detroit is arguably one of the last, if not the last great American city to fully lock in a comprehensive revitalization effort starting from its core with the intent to expand outward. This makes a lot of sense when it comes to gentrification because the core city is denser and lends efficiency to accessing resources whether neglected, limited, or in abundance. Once those resources start responding to market demand, spin off development takes place and prices respond to limited demand of wanting to be in a quality place. A UNIQUE and AUTHENTIC sense of place is of high priority in the suburban-to-urban migration and that can be witnessed and argued regarding all cities around the country. It's why places as small as Bozeman, MT are hot right now, not because it's a carbon copy of White Lake Township, but because it has a core infrastructure built along the same principles as Detroit...and it has mountain views too!...BUT we have the river...another factor in creating sense of place. One and only one river will ever be found to touch the banks of the Detroit cityscape, and as long as people are desiring that amenity, the riverfront development will take care of itself.

Jobs. People want to live near where they work and visa versa. This is why decisions such as Quicken Loans to move downtown is paramount to connecting the pieces of that neglected, yet existing infrastructure that we have in Detroit. At the same time as Detroit's decline, the land use policy that was popular in this country was separate uses. That's why you have suburbs divided into sprawly cal-de-sacs with just ranch homes lining sidewalkless, crumbling streets completely separated from office land use (popularly built as exlusive office parks), which were also separate from retail uses (strip malls and enclosed malls surrounded by parking)...how else were you to access the separation of land uses other than car? It's non efficient, and so along came the practice of mixed-use development, which started allowing communities to combine more than one land use in the same development.

Suburbs recognized that they aren't cool anymore (they never really were...people just wanted their privacy), so now the burbs realize that they are sophisticated and "built-out" enough that they have to compete if they want to retain the jobs and residents they attracted during the suburban movement of the last few generations.

THIS is why the ball is in Detroit's court and what helps to explain my point above (if you didn't totally follow it. It's infrastructure is already there...it's competitiveness factor is already in place. The physical being of Detroit that was once considered "obsolete" by the popular vote in this region is now being recognized as a gold mine. In fact, after all these years, the only thing that people here needed to overcome was both a false and real perception of the social structure that was created over the decades.

To me, I'm as safe in downtown Detroit as I am on Manhattan Island, NY. I (in my opinion) also enjoy the same principle of urbanity as Manhattan, but in an authentically "Detroit" kind of lifestyle. That's what the regional populus is in search of. Something authentic and unique, similar to other urban centers, but something they can call their own and personalize. Hence, gentrification...they're willing to pay for it.

Then comes the uphill battle of addressing the ills that cannot be ignored in the city...the tax paying tax base that was here all along, despite how poor they may be. And even though that's an important avenue of this discussion, it's disconnected to the meat and potatos that I believe you are trying to explore.

Also, maybe consider talking to the folks at the Department of Geography and Urban Planning at WSU. They have an outstanding representation of professionals who are very knowledgeable about Detroit. Even if it's just to inquire about information from them.

http://www.clas.wayne.edu/unit -faculty.asp?UnitID=23

Let us know how it turns out and best wishes!
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Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 5076
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Thursday, February 07, 2008 - 9:22 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The real test/study begins in twenty-six months when the Census Bureau counts noses again. Then, we'll see just how far off the so-called research (statistical snow-job) of the Social Compact was in error.

WSU and the Medical Center can provide a reason for only so many to reside in MidTown. The Echo Boom is just starting to hit today's colleges. This second-generation Baby Boom is only some five or six years as compared to the nineteen years for the original Baby Boom generation. This demographic bulge has already completely passed through the elementary schools (currently eighth graders to college freshmen in age).

Already, the K-7 student population is decreasing and will eventually result in some elementary schools closing. And this will have its effect in the middle and high schools for the next half dozen years. And it'll take another four or five years after that for them to completely pass through their college years.

But, that is a national happening. If their middle-aged parents leave Michigan for work elsewhere, this Echo Boom might not have that much of an effect in SE Michigan. In any event, after a decade, that demographic will all be out of college and probably not choose to linger in Michigan if its job situation isn't fixed.
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Username: Punkrocknerd

Post Number: 5
Registered: 05-2007
Posted on Monday, February 11, 2008 - 7:09 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Anyone a recent migrant from the suburbs to Detroit

(Message edited by punkrocknerd on February 12, 2008)
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Username: Chuckles

Post Number: 168
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Monday, February 11, 2008 - 7:19 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Do you mean recent migrant...?
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Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 5124
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Monday, February 11, 2008 - 7:23 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Any such person probably resents doing that...
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Username: 401don

Post Number: 262
Registered: 11-2007
Posted on Monday, February 11, 2008 - 7:38 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Bit off topic, because these people wouldn't be moving to the corridor, but it's some sort of ironic tragedy that when the metro Detroit baby boomers finally decide they want the urban lifestyle, either because they missed out on it in their youth, wanted kids in the burbs or because the city finally looks attractive, the sub-prime mess hits. These are people with the $ to pay taxes, who don't need to wait for the job market to improve, and yet now they can't sell their existing home.

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