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.