Who is right for Detroit?

Over the weekend, the Detroit News published an article about the development trend in Detroit. The article quoted a number of soon to be new residents in the city. It also mentioned the increasing number of whites moving into the city.

Over on the DetroitYes board, there is a thread about the article (see: Heart of Detroit on a Roll?) Some posters feel that the people mentioned in the article aren’t the right type of people for Detroit, that they are only trend-followers, will be scared by the grit of the city and move out when it is time for a family, etc. Personally, I find that stance very arrogant because it means the poster assumes they are the “right person” for Detroit. You know what, Detroit needs all kinds of people – those who love the city more than anything, those who hate it but stay because it is home, those who are just a tad bit scared of its grit, those who live here for a few years after college and then move off to a new place and so on. There is no “right person” for the city – we need the trend-followers just as much as the hipsters, the long-time residents.

To be honest, I don’t plan on living in Detroit long term. I never have. I have always planned on living in Metro Detroit for as long as I felt necessary, but I also always knew I’d eventually leave. There is nothing wrong with the area. I just don’t see it as a long-term “home” for me. That doesn’t mean I am less committed to seeing the city grow and prosper. That doesn’t mean I am less important to it’s growth. It just means I am a different type of resident.

This argument of the “right type” for Detroit is as narrow-minded as the City vs Suburb arguments. Just as a metropolitan area needs city residents and suburbanites, the city itself needs all kinds of residents.

4 Comments so far

  1. baliad (unregistered) on July 18th, 2006 @ 6:55 am

    i couldn’t agree with you more mgal… it is the viewpoint of the aforementioned poster that is more detrimental to our city than trendy white folks moving in… i think viewpoints like the one belonging to that poster are partly spawned from a bitter reaction to failed city revival attempts in the past as well as the “city vs. suburbs” argument…

    you know it’s funny you bring this up, because i’ve been thinking to myself how i’m not sure how long i can stay in the D myself… i really want to live in the city of Detroit, but if i want to get a house big enough and safe enough to have a family in and close enough to the parts of town i want to live near, i’m not so sure i can afford it…

    all in all, i’m not so sure that the D can just go ahead and decide who is right for the city and who is not… it’s not like there’s a waiting list of people who are dying to move into the city… the city and it’s citizens need to be willing to embrace anyone who is willing to come down and live down here…

  2. Johnny (unregistered) on July 18th, 2006 @ 7:00 am

    If no one was scared of the grit, there would be no one motivated to make improvements.

    Separating people into categories like that and deciding which one is most fit for the city does nothing its growth.

    …and don’t get me started on the ‘City vs Suburb’ debate.

  3. Girl in the D (unregistered) on July 18th, 2006 @ 2:42 pm

    I was recently married and since then I cannot tell you how many people have asked me when I am moving out of Detroit. Like once you get married you have to go? It’s ridiculous. That question is always followed by something like: “But when you have kids you’re going to move, though, right?” My response is always, “No, I’m not planning on it,” and they act like it’s the nuttiest thing they’ve ever heard.

    As far as I know, married couples and people with kids have been living here since Detroit was founded…

  4. Some Guy (unregistered) on July 19th, 2006 @ 11:22 am

    Just wait till the supposed Detroit cheerleader has a life changing reason for moving from Detroit. You can say you will stay no matter what but shit happens and things change. I have many very educated friends that moved out of state to find jobs after having no luck in the detroit area market.

    From the sounds of it I do not see the vocal poster finding a wife anytime soon though and god help the kids if he breeds.

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