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  #181  
Old Posted Aug 25, 2019, 2:29 PM
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Originally Posted by iheartthed View Post
Good point. Detroit regularly grew by 50-60k per year for several decades in the early 20th century. I think Los Angeles is the only city to sustain anywhere near that type of growth for at least a decade post-1950s. And even then it was only able to sustain it for a decade. OTOH, one thing that helped NYC recover from its massive decline in the 1970s is that much of the regional population growth is pushed into the city because of strict land development controls. If Michigan gets rid of those pro-sprawl policies then Detroit could easily start growing again.
Getting Detroit to grow is actually the easy part as the city comes pretty close to positive annual population growth during peak economic cycles (eg; from 1995 to 1996, the city only lost 2,000 residents), but to fill up a good amount of the underused space with urban development is an entirely different task.

I feel like anti-sprawl policies would only serve to boost real estate prices but not actually promote growth in the core. It might force the more desirable suburbs to upzone with density drawing away the need to develop the inner-city.
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  #182  
Old Posted Aug 25, 2019, 2:58 PM
iheartthed iheartthed is offline
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Originally Posted by animatedmartian View Post
Getting Detroit to grow is actually the easy part as the city comes pretty close to positive annual population growth during peak economic cycles (eg; from 1995 to 1996, the city only lost 2,000 residents), but to fill up a good amount of the underused space with urban development is an entirely different task.

I feel like anti-sprawl policies would only serve to boost real estate prices but not actually promote growth in the core. It might force the more desirable suburbs to upzone with density drawing away the need to develop the inner-city.
That doesn't seem to happen in other regions with space constraints, such as NY Metro and the Bay Area. But it would force sprawl to reflect its true cost upfront, which would make investment in the central city much more competitive.
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  #183  
Old Posted Aug 25, 2019, 3:20 PM
jtown,man jtown,man is offline
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Originally Posted by PhillyRising View Post
I'm not sure where you assumed half of this but whatever.

Are you saying you want liberal areas to fail so you can feel better?
Read my next comment, then delete this one.
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  #184  
Old Posted Aug 26, 2019, 7:22 PM
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Originally Posted by iheartthed View Post
That doesn't seem to happen in other regions with space constraints, such as NY Metro and the Bay Area. But it would force sprawl to reflect its true cost upfront, which would make investment in the central city much more competitive.
I'm not so sure it's an apples and oranges comparison to Detroit in either of those cases. For one, both SF and NYC are major coastal port cities. So naturally, either respective cities will grow and centralize around their big harbors.

Two, NYC is still pretty massive. Its defined urban area is about two and a half times bigger than Detroit's so I don't think there's really much in the way of restrictive land for development. However, it's still more beneficial to be as close to the center of the city as possible because of the convergence of land, air, and sea routes.

For the Bay Area, it more like two central cities competing for the same area. Without San Jose, the SF Metro wouldn't be that much larger than Metro Detroit. And if San Jose didn't exist, that part of the Bay area would probably be a lot more spread out or still farmland.
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  #185  
Old Posted Aug 26, 2019, 8:44 PM
iheartthed iheartthed is offline
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Originally Posted by animatedmartian View Post
I'm not so sure it's an apples and oranges comparison to Detroit in either of those cases. For one, both SF and NYC are major coastal port cities. So naturally, either respective cities will grow and centralize around their big harbors.

Two, NYC is still pretty massive. Its defined urban area is about two and a half times bigger than Detroit's so I don't think there's really much in the way of restrictive land for development. However, it's still more beneficial to be as close to the center of the city as possible because of the convergence of land, air, and sea routes.

For the Bay Area, it more like two central cities competing for the same area. Without San Jose, the SF Metro wouldn't be that much larger than Metro Detroit. And if San Jose didn't exist, that part of the Bay area would probably be a lot more spread out or still farmland.
Both regions are rebounding from the exact same issues afflicting Detroit, just with less severity. There was a period of 3 or 4 decades in both cities where the urban cores were not able to compete with suburban sprawl. That started to shift for both places in the 1980s, and really took off during the 1990s. The difference is that Detroit has never been able to get the policy changes that makes inner-city land as competitive.

In NYC, that shift has gotten so thorough that it has completely absorbed most of Manhattan, which even 20 years ago had no shortage of derelict buildings and low-income neighborhoods. Now that absorption is pushing far out of Manhattan, and very deep into Brooklyn, Queens, the New Jersey cities bordering Manhattan, etc.

For instance, take a look at this stretch of Brooklyn in 2009: https://goo.gl/maps/JbvyxCtebLw4Eh7w8. On one side it was a gas station, on the other side was a massive surface parking lot.

Look at it again in 2014: https://goo.gl/maps/D9TrxiDHBFu5hdHh6.
Again, massive surface parking lot and gas station are both still there.

Now, check out the most recent photo available on Google: https://goo.gl/maps/D9TrxiDHBFu5hdHh6

Not only have those two lots changed, but just about every empty lot on Fulton St. from downtown to deep into Bedford-Stuyvesant is being infilled. This area five years ago had no shortage of under-utilized space.
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  #186  
Old Posted Aug 26, 2019, 8:56 PM
iheartthed iheartthed is offline
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^Also, I have a theory about why Michigan hasn't been quick to fix its policy issues that give a competitive advantage to sprawl over urban development. First is the obvious, that Michigan is flat and doesn't have constraints from natural features like islands or mountains. The other is that unlike the major cities in the northeast, Detroit sprawl was never really in danger of spilling into another state. New York State, for instance, has a self-interest to keep tax dollars in New York City vs New Jersey or Connecticut. Same for Pennsylvania vs New Jersey. But Detroit is 50 miles from the nearest state border, ignoring Canada, and the sprawl has mostly gone deeper into the state. To Michigan it looks all the same whether it's Detroit or Troy.
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  #187  
Old Posted Aug 26, 2019, 9:14 PM
Crawford Crawford is offline
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Originally Posted by iheartthed View Post
Not only have those two lots changed, but just about every empty lot on Fulton St. from downtown to deep into Bedford-Stuyvesant is being infilled. This area five years ago had no shortage of under-utilized space.
NYC (and most other cities) also experienced very steep declines (in some ways I think NYC's 70's-era decline was more severe and shocking) but the difference is that NYC had a crapload of prewar fabric, probably more than any other city on earth. It had the ideal bones once density/walkability became an asset.

Also, the recent Fulton corridor infill narrative is a bit misleading, because those lots were empty due to city urban renewal efforts. It isn't like Fulton Street was ever bombed out; the city demolished half the neighborhood and then went broke, so they never finished rebuilding the blocks until very recently. The lingering lots were more a legacy of 70's-era municipal cutbacks (notice that all the urban renewal is early 70's stuff or stuff from the last 20 years, and nothing in-between).

And the city rezoned Bed Stuy a few years ago, allowing midrise towers. There were none previously because they weren't allowed, not necessarily because they wouldn't have been built.
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  #188  
Old Posted Aug 26, 2019, 9:37 PM
iheartthed iheartthed is offline
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Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
NYC (and most other cities) also experienced very steep declines (in some ways I think NYC's 70's-era decline was more severe and shocking) but the difference is that NYC had a crapload of prewar fabric, probably more than any other city on earth. It had the ideal bones once density/walkability became an asset.

Also, the recent Fulton corridor infill narrative is a bit misleading, because those lots were empty due to city urban renewal efforts. It isn't like Fulton Street was ever bombed out; the city demolished half the neighborhood and then went broke, so they never finished rebuilding the blocks until very recently. The lingering lots were more a legacy of 70's-era municipal cutbacks (notice that all the urban renewal is early 70's stuff or stuff from the last 20 years, and nothing in-between).

And the city rezoned Bed Stuy a few years ago, allowing midrise towers. There were none previously because they weren't allowed, not necessarily because they wouldn't have been built.
Yes, the rezoning made repurposing the gas station - this one as well as those on Atlantic Avenue that are also being demolished - financially viable because of the costs of converting a gas station to residential. But there were plenty of under-utilized lots to build on, parking lots, as well as existing buildings to renovate, well before the rezoning. What is different now is that nearly all of Manhattan is at a very advanced stage of gentrification, so developers have had to move deep into the boroughs.
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  #189  
Old Posted Aug 28, 2019, 11:07 PM
edale edale is offline
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For the people who criticized me for daring to mention that I watched a documentary and actually learned something, might I ask what you suggest one do to learn about a topic they care to know more about? Are there any recent books you can recommend that go over the history of Detroit and how it reached the state that it's in today? Apparently having multiple degrees in urban planning, regularly visiting family in Detroit and its suburbs for decades, reading and exploring online resources, and watching documentaries about the city have left me totally ignorant and unable to speak about my thoughts on Detroit. So I'm curious how you all suggest I get educated on the topic. I aspire to be able to post as eloquently and offer the level of intellect that The North One brings to this forum...please advise.

Here is a link to the doc. Not that I think anyone here will actually watch it, but in case anyone gets curious, here it is:
https://www.pbssocal.org/programs/am...-route-tzx2ee/
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  #190  
Old Posted Aug 28, 2019, 11:56 PM
iheartthed iheartthed is offline
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Originally Posted by edale View Post
For the people who criticized me for daring to mention that I watched a documentary and actually learned something, might I ask what you suggest one do to learn about a topic they care to know more about? Are there any recent books you can recommend that go over the history of Detroit and how it reached the state that it's in today? Apparently having multiple degrees in urban planning, regularly visiting family in Detroit and its suburbs for decades, reading and exploring online resources, and watching documentaries about the city have left me totally ignorant and unable to speak about my thoughts on Detroit. So I'm curious how you all suggest I get educated on the topic. I aspire to be able to post as eloquently and offer the level of intellect that The North One brings to this forum...please advise.

Here is a link to the doc. Not that I think anyone here will actually watch it, but in case anyone gets curious, here it is:
https://www.pbssocal.org/programs/am...-route-tzx2ee/
I wasn't criticizing you for wanting to learn about Detroit, or for you suggesting to others that the documentary is informative. But you seemed to make an assessment about whether Detroit was a viable city based on the documentary (or at least you used the documentary to underline the point). The documentary could be, and probably is, mostly accurate but probably should not be used to make a sweeping conclusion about Detroit's future prospects.
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  #191  
Old Posted Aug 29, 2019, 1:00 AM
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Serious question: what’s the gayborhood in Detroit
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  #192  
Old Posted Aug 29, 2019, 1:54 AM
iheartthed iheartthed is offline
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Originally Posted by dc_denizen View Post
Serious question: what’s the gayborhood in Detroit
This area: https://www.google.com/maps/place/De...!4d-83.0457538

I don't think the area is as gay as it used to be, but Menjo's (corner of McNichols and Pontchartrain Blvd) is Detroit's most famous gay bar... And maybe the only one left? I think a lot of the older gay community moved a couple miles north along Woodward into neighboring Ferndale, but I haven't been to Ferndale in at least a decade, so I don't know if it's really that gayborhood-y.
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