By this time I am sure you have heard the news, Detroit’s census count for 2010 is down to 713,777. That is a drop of 25% from 2000, and the cities population has not been this low since 1910. Most undoubtedly every mention of this story is bad news, however is that really the case? We all know that it is very dangerous for Detroit to continue on this path of huge losses.
The reality of the situation is that until urban policies are changed in the state of Michigan, Detroit will have a hard time stemming the tide. To clarify the type of change I am talking about is not fiscal managers, huge business tax cuts, and cutting historic tax credits. Instead, the change must bring the cost of development in green fields in line with that of working in developed areas. There must be a larger regional and state land use plan that does not allow the continued sprawling of stagnant metropolitan areas all across the state. Finally it is a plan that must take into account the harms that have been done to the urban environment over the last half a century. Without any of these actions the numbers are sad, but will not change.
In case you have been under a rock, or trapped in studio doing work, which is increasingly likely here is a round up of some other newly released census data, and opinion pieces on what 713,777 means.
Census map showing loses and growth by county in Michigan.
Editorial: A smaller, stronger Detroit.
Analysis by Crain’s Detroit
A statement from Declare Detroit