Block for sale, West Village, Detroit. Source: thestile1972.tumblr.com There are people who believe that population loss in Rust Belt cities, a long-term phenomenon, should be a great concern. There are those who don’t. More and more, evidence suggests that population decline in the Rust Belt may be structural, even inevitable. However, economic decline is not. […]Read more "How Rust Belt Recovery Looks Different From Everyone Else"
Lake of the Clouds at Porcupine Mountains State Park in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Source: parkcamper.com Series to date: Part 1: Overview Like most people who get to know the North Woods nowadays, my first exposure to it was as a tourist. I visited Mackinac Island (pronounced Mack-in-ah, not Mack-in-ack) when I was maybe ten years old. It’s […]Read more "The "Five Midwests" Series, Part 2: The North Woods"
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz writes “Race Together” on a coffee cup in a Starbucks shop. Source: washingtonpost.com So Starbucks wants to initiate a national conversation about race. Since I write about cities, and Starbucks is perhaps our nation’s leading gentrification early warning system, I’ll take them up on it. Last week, Starbucks said they would […]Read more "Starbucks, Race and Cities"
Homicide inequality in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Source: Daniel Kay Hertz, newrepublic.com (Note: Recent months for this blog have seen a big uptick in traffic; since August 2014 daily pageviews have nearly tripled. But that means that many posts that were published before then didn’t get the exposure that subsequent posts did. Here’s […]Read more "Repost: Hyper-Segregation: The Defining Feature of Rust Belt Cities"
Detroiters have missed out on the lesson of an extremely important moment. A few days ago, the Detroit Free Press reported an update on “Walking Man” James Robertson, a Detroit resident who walked 21 miles a day round trip for his factory job in suburban Rochester Hills. His story was initially reported earlier this winter, and […]Read more "Detroiters — Still Not Heeding the Lessons Before Them"
On two separate occasions as a youth, I traveled not very far from where I was living and found people who talked — and lived — very differently than what I was accustomed to. That provided me with my earliest sense that there were subtleties within places that were often overlooked. The first time was […]Read more "The "Five Midwests" Series, Part 1: Overview"
Throughout my life I’ve been about as big an advocate for Rust Belt cities as there is. I grew up in Detroit, have lived for years in the Chicago area, and I’ve become intimately familiar with other cities throughout the Rust Belt/Midwest. However, one of the issues that has perplexed me for years is the […]Read more "The "Five Midwests" Series"