Category Archives : Michigan Cities

Ideas to Revitalize Michigan Cities


21st Century neighborhoods

Just finished reading the End of the Suburbs by Leigh Galagher, assistant managing editor at Fortune. Highly recommended. She details, with data and stories, the new reality that more and more Americans want to live in high density, walkable, mixed use neighborhoods. Where walking and transit are as important as driving. That the odds are […]


21st Century transportation

What concerns me most about Michigan’s politics is how much of it, on a bi-partisan basis, seems designed for the 20th Century. We seem to be having a hard time learning what made us prosperous in the past, won’t in the future. Our fixation on trying to once again make Michigan a factory-based state is […]


The economic case for density

In two recent New York Times posts Paul Krugman has explored the economic benefits dense regions enjoy compared to those characterized by sprawl. They are worth checking out. The first looks at the Detroit bankruptcy. Its entitled “A Tale of Two Rust-Belt Cities“. Krugman asks: “Here’s a question: is the crisis in Detroit simply a […]


Detroit collapsing

The best commentaries on the Detroit bankruptcy I have read are a Forbes article entitled “The Unions Didn’t Bankrupt Detroit, But Great American Cars Did” and a Robert Samuelson column for Real Clear Politics entitled “Reinventing Detroit”. Both make the point that the chief cause of Detroit’s collapse is the region (not just the city) […]


Minnesota or Indiana? III

As we have seen Minnesota has better economic outcomes on every metric that matter to families trying to pay the bills and save for their retirement and their kids college education. Its not close. The main reason for the out performance is that Minnesota is over concentrated in the knowledge-based service industries that have faster […]


Metro NYC winning

As we explored in my last post, 25-34 year olds with a four year degree or more are concentrating in big metros, with a high proportion living in their central cities. Seventy four percent of young professionals are living in one of the 54 regions with a population of one million or more and in […]


Michigan’s share of young talent

One of the questions I’m now asked most frequently is “how is Michigan doing compared to other states in retaining and attracting recent college graduates?” Good question and encouraging that it is being asked more frequently. Folks seem to be understanding that where recent college graduates choose to live after college matters to Michigan’s future […]


Attracting talent

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg in a column for the Financial Times makes the case that talent is what matters most to economic growth. And that place –– particularly vibrant central cities –– is the key to attracting talent. The column is entitled “Cities must be cool, creative and in control”.  Worth reading! Bloomberg writes: […]


Wanted: light rail for metro Detroit II

There has been good news on transit for metro Detroit. M1 –– the light rail line from downtown to midtown –– is going to be a major catalyst for future development of greater downtown Detroit. Thanks to the leadership of the Kresge Foundation and Dan Gilbert and Matt Cullen of Quicken (and other philanthropic and […]


Wanted: light rail for metro Detroit

At the same time that I was reading press reports that the powers that be have decided on bus rapid transit on Woodward from Detroit into Oakland County, Atlantic Cities ran an article on the success of the Phoenix light rail system. You read that right, no-real-downtown, sprawl-city Phoenix has made light rail a centerpiece to […]