Stir it Up
Going for the Gusto
The real prosperity is in the richness of community and trust in your neighbors.
Published: April 3, 2013
“We need to pivot from this point as a region and confront our history of racism and white flight, and build on regional reconciliation,” says Hammer. “Snyder needs to impose on the region, just like he imposed on Detroit, a regional transportation system. Everything follows from good transportation. Good transportation is going to benefit Detroit and the region. It will establish interaction. It is the single most important thing he could do.”
That may seem a far cry from keeping the neighborhoods safe so my friend can live there, and a lot different from having police on every corner to chaperone us on our way. But there are ripples that happen from good public transportation. One of them is economic development in the region because people can get to jobs, and there’s more economic development around train and bus stops. The value of real estate soars around train stops, and commercial enterprises around them thrive because people need to buy things when they are headed home. More people walking home means more eyes on the street and crime drops. Not to mention that a better economy makes fewer people feel like they need to take things from others.
That’s where the real fight should be. There are plenty of buildings downtown for Dan Gilbert to own, and there is plenty of land in the neighborhoods for the urban agriculturalists to farm. And when the city folks sit down with the outstate folks to talk about crops and farmers’ markets, that’s when people will see our commonalities and realize we’re all in this together.
That’s more important — and will take longer — than balancing some books. And it will take a more expansive and sophisticated perspective than folks on either side of Eight Mile Road wanting to put those people in their places. The real prosperity is in the richness of community and trust in your neighbors. Too bad that can’t happen soon enough to keep my friend nearby.
Larry Gabriel is a writer, musician and former editor of Metro Times. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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