Category Archives : Michigan Cities

Ideas to Revitalize Michigan Cities


New York City thriving 2

For nearly all of my getting close to forty year career I have heard about the imminent collapse of New York City. Those predictions were largely based on the twin beliefs that cities were part of the past (no longer competitive with the suburbs for middle class and affluent households) and low cost/small government places […]


Talent attraction in Oklahoma City

As we explored in our last post young professionals are concentrating in record numbers in vibrant central cities. Across the country––in red and blue states––state, regional, and city leaders understanding that where talent concentrates economic growth will follow, have made public investments in creating the kind of places that retain and attract recent college graduates […]


Cities and schools

Included in my standard presentation is this quote from Harvard economist Edward Glaeser: In the long run, America will be richer than China only by having smarter citizens, and that requires the skills that come from schools and cities, not dispersed factories. It is great summary of our approach to economic development. In an increasingly knowledge-based […]


Trickle down and the Millennials continued 2

At its core, Thomas Sugrue’s critique of making retaining and attracting young professional a priority really should be aimed at regions and states, not cities. What Sugrue is arguing is that it is not an effective jobs and economic development strategy. City government has very little clout in either. In his Free Press interview Sugrue […]


Trickle down and the Millennials 2

Thomas Sugrue is the author of the must-read “The Origins of the Urban Crisis”, a history of the deindustrialization of Detroit. He was a  keynote speaker at the last Detroit Regional Chamber’s Detroit Policy Conference. Prior to the speech he did an interview with John Gallagher of the Detroit Free Press which was entitled: “Sugrue: […]


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A Tale of Two States: Guest Blogger Rick Haglund’s Final Post

Many states have cut benefits to the poor and unemployed in the belief that these payments dissuade people from looking for paid work. Minnesota takes a different view. It has created one of the strongest safety nets in the country, spending generously on benefits to help those who have lost jobs or been stricken by […]


A Tale of Two States: Welcome Everyone

Many states have “welcome” signs at their borders. Minnesota means it. It’s a state that embraces immigrants, sees same-sex marriage as a civil right and an economic benefit, and recently enacted groundbreaking legislation designed to improve conditions for women in the workplace. Contrast those policies with Michigan, which is fighting to prevent the legalization of […]

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Minneapolis skyline, bridge, and Mississippi River

A Tale of Two States: The Road To Prosperity

Michigan residents are clamoring for the Legislature to better fund the state’s crumbling roads, bridges and mass transit. But lawmakers have repeatedly failed to boost taxes that would raise the $1.2 billion more a year that Gov. Rick Snyder has said is necessary to fix the roads. Minnesota years ago developed a comprehensive transportation funding […]