Yesterday, the Detroit News Hub released the results of study, entitled "Detroit Pulse," which found that nearly half of Southeast Michigan residents say they love living in the Detroit region. But most are frustrated by current conditions and believe elected officials at all levels must work together to revitalize the region, according to a recent survey.
The study took the pulse of the region from a number of different perspectives (2,030 of them) including quality of life, economics, demographics, tourism and revitalization efforts. About 11% of those interviewed love it here and wouldn’t think of moving, while 39% love it here but are discouraged with current conditions. Another 8% like it here and will do whatever they need to do to stay. However, 31% said they dislike Detroit and want to move to another region.
In fact, the report concludes that those surveyed find the three best things about living and working in Detroit are:
1. Sporting events and our teams
2. Entertainment & culture
3. Up North
The survey also found that to re-emerge, revitalization must start with the downtown. In fact, the "top 4 venues" were listed as:
1. Comerica Park
2. The casinos
3. Fox Theater
4. Detroit Riverwalk
Those surveyed said they would come more often if there was free parking, better security and more waterfront activities. Greektown, Hart Plaza, the Riverfront and Foxtown were the most familiar places to those surveyed. The areas with the lowest sense of familiarity were:
1. Midtown 2. Rivertown 3. Corktown 4. Mexicantown
In addition to: The Century Club, Motown Historical Museum, MOCAD, Flimore Theater, Majestic Theater, Gem Theater, Music Hall and the D.A.C.
The study showed that 59% of Southeast Michigan residents do not feel elected leaders are working together effectively to revitalize Detroit and the region and all levels of government need to be involved in the effort. 80% of SE Michigan residents feel the Governor should be strongly engaged in the revitalization/reimaging efforts for Detroit. As one 18-24-year-old respondent said, “Very little has changed over the years. You would think at some point elected officials would get together and say ‘we have had enough of this, let’s get something done and revitalize Detroit.’ It seems as if we are accomplishing very little.”
Among the other findings:
· Just 13% of those living outside of Michigan have heard or read about any revitalization efforts in Detroit. The majority of those living outside of Michigan said they get their information on the region from national TV.
· 91% of the residents of Southeast Michigan feel the Detroit region is portrayed negatively to extremely negatively in the national media and take exception to that portrayal and say some progress is being made.
· One-third of those responding see the region as a good or excellent place to do business as compared to only 14% outside of Michigan.
· Those living in the region see automotive and advanced automotive, film and entertainment and energy/green as the region’s best opportunities for diversification.
· The majority of SE Michigan residents and those living outside Michigan see revitalization efforts as increased jobs and new uses for vacant buildings or tearing down those structures. Increased businesses and a more vibrant downtown also ranked high.
· Neighborhoods, diversification of industry, increased entrepreneurs, more people living downtown and parks and green space were ranked higher by those living outside the state than those living inside.
· Residents living in the region who are 18-34 ranked new uses for vacant and abandoned properties as their No. 1 issue for revitalization followed by increased jobs, a more vibrant downtown, tearing down abandoned structures and increased new business.
· Those ages 35-54 put increased jobs as No. 1 while new uses for vacant buildings and tearing down vacant structures tied for second place. A more vibrant downtown was third followed by increased new business and neighborhoods.
· Those over 55 put tearing down abandoned buildings as No. 1, followed by increased jobs, new uses for vacant and abandoned homes, increased new businesses and a more vibrant downtown
· Residents in from Wayne, Oakland and Macomb had very different perspectives on what revitalization means. Wayne ranked increased jobs as No. 1; Oakland residents said it was a more vibrant downtown while Macomb residents put tearing down vacant structures first.
· Here’s what some of them said:
o “Cleaner and safer than the perception outside Michigan”
o “There are a lot more cultural activities than I expected. The only bad thing about Michigan is the weather.”
o “I expected to find fewer cultural events and attractions such as museums and expected higher crime rates.”
o “I moved here to go to school and never expected to stay but I love the people and the river and the architecture of the city are amazing."
o “Both Ann Arbor and Detroit have been better than I could have hoped. Coming from a college town in Indiana I had heard great things about Ann Arbor and expected it to be great, but downtown Detroit has been a great surprise.”