The Two Detroits
Some parts of Detroit–like midtown and parts of downtown–are thriving. Other areas, like some neighborhoods–are struggling.
All this month, Detroit 2020 will be focusing on The Two Detroits.
As midtown bustles with development activity, and downtown experiences a steady influx of new workers…daily life remains a challenge in many of Detroit’s neighborhoods.
Two Detroits. It’s a tale, really, of every major urban city–but the contrast is especially striking in Detroit. This neighborhood.. on the city’s west side.. has been identified as the nation’s most dangerous in a new study.
According to the study.. your chance of becoming a victim of a violent crime here is 1 in 7.. a devastating number.
But it’s not just zip code 48204.
Kurt Metzger is the director of Data Driven of Detroit which studies population trends in the city. On Robinwood Street.. near Woodward.. the picture is a bleak one.
“It’s just sad when you think of the stories and what precipitated the people to leave and what happened to these people. And why it’s allowed to happen and why the city has just kind of seen this total divestiture of housing, businesses, etc.,” Metzger told Detroit 2020.
Detroit certainly has its share of strong, stable neighborhoods—including University District.. which borders the University of Detroit Mercy and upscale Palmer Woods, among others. But in a city with nearly 60 percent of its children living in poverty and a high school graduation rate that is only a few percentage points higher than that—negatives too often outweigh the positives.
Sue Mosey has heard the criticism that there’s too much focus on downtown and Midtown. Mosey is President of Midtown Detroit, Inc. She says there is a solution—but like the quarter century of work that’s been done in Midtown–it will take planning and patience. “A sustained approach that’s backed up by capacity and resources, and I think you can see the same kind of marked improvements over time as you’ve seen here,” Mosey said.
In the meantime, Metzger says–blaming Detroiters for what’s happened isn’t the answer. He argues the entire region must get to work to fix Detroit. And the sooner—the better.