Stir It Up
Gentrification and Age-Old Struggles
Can politicians and developers see beyond the quick profits to really fix what is wrong with Detroit?
Published: May 8, 1970
The M1 rail line is coming down Woodward along with a lot of business development support by foundations and government. However, it seems that the people most in need are being squeezed out. Transportation is coming down Woodward and housing is being developed along the Woodward corridor. But the poor people are being pushed away from the transit line. Not all of the jobs at Wayne State University, and the Cultural and Medical Centers are for professionals with degrees. There are people who mow the lawns, paint the walls, tend the parking lots and more. They should be able to live near to where they work.
So what’s the solution? George Galster, a professor of urban studies at Wayne State University and author of Driving Detroit, has wrestled with the subject. He points out that there is plenty of available housing for low-income people around the city, but there are other issues at hand such as connection to the community.
“We have to support the in migration of people with disposable income to the neighborhood, but we should not ignore the cost that this process will have on our poorer citizens,” says Galster. “I think that Detroit would be best served by the recipe of nonprofit owned buildings within a gentrified area. I think we have some strong community development corporations in this city that have proven that they can manage some developments well.”
That’s pretty much the same solution the academic researchers came up with. At least the academics are agreeing with each other. Now the question is can the politicians and the developers see beyond the quick profits to really fix what is wrong with Detroit.
Larry Gabriel is a writer, musician and former editor of Metro Times. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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