left to right: Avis Vidal, Moderator and WSU Professor; Lou
Glazer, President of Michigan Future; Louise Jezierski, MSU
Associate Professor on Urban Social and Political Theory;
and Clare Pfeiffer Ramsey, Managing Editor of Model D Media.
large majority of Detroit residents are either unemployed, on a
low-income budget or are senior citizens. The city needs to attract
and retain more middle-class families in order to move forward toward
the world-class status that Detroit once had. A panel of experts
discussed how to rebuild Detroit as a post-industrial city at Wayne
State University's Law School on Friday.
Bing announced in his State of the City address that he plans to
demolish 5,000 buildings and move people into better neighborhoods.
The city is making some steps in the right direction, but it needs
to do more.
Glazer is the president and co-founder of Michigan Future, Inc.
It is a non-profit organization's mission is to create new ideas
on how Michigan can succeed as a world class community in a knowledge-driven
jobs are gone and are not coming back," Glazer said. "If
you don't have a vibrant Detroit, you can't have a vibrant metro
Detroit and we can't have a vibrant state. Central cities now play
the role where people want to live not where they want to work.
There's no such thing as a non-post industrial city. The only way
to make Detroit a great city is to have a growth agenda not a shrinking
Jezierski is the associate professor on urban social and political
theory at Michigan State University. Her most recent research examines
health disparities by race and class in metropolitan Detroit. She
is writing a book that compares Cleveland and Pittsburgh's revitalization
city of Detroit had a pretty stable middle-class," Jezierski
said. "Middle-class has lots of assets. They're going to move
to places where kids can thrive. They're shopping for educating.
The middle-class thought they had to be racially divided. Cleveland
was one of the first places to experiment with [school] vouchers.
Detroit's done a great job with Renaissance High School and Cass
Tech. Even with fewer people, we have more households. Once kids
are gone, parents are free to move back in the city. Schools are
racially segregated as in the '70s. Detroit has an extensive Black
middle-class. With better community organizing, we can save the
Pfeiffer Ramsey is the managing editor of Model D Media. It is an
online magazine that tells stories of Detroit's redevelopment, creative
people, entrepreneurs, artists and vibrant neighborhoods. She writes
about pop culture, business, former Rustbelt cities, and community
mission is not to be cheerleaders," Ramsey said. "We want
to talk about solutions. Detroit has a huge poetry art scene. We
need more everything. We need to build the things that cool kids
want. MOCAD is definitely worth checking out. Companies want to
be in cities where these young and talented kids live. We have a
lot to offer. Detroit is the short straw. That's how we're perceived.
We need walk ability, density. We need to support entrepreneurs.
Belle Isle is probably the best park around. We need to be better
ambassadors for the region."
Bing also said in his State of the City speech that he would announce
the location for the new headquarters for the Detroit Police Department
in less than two months. Rumors are that it will be the former MGM
Grand Casino building, located just off the Lodge freeway.
highlighted the upcoming Kayak Detroit event, which is scheduled
for June 5. Everyone is invited to go kayaking along the Detroit
River. For more information, call (734) 285-2925.