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Map: Chain Supermarkets in Metro Detroit 2020

DETROITography

I’ve mapped the empty business rings of Detroit before, but my personal interest and research is in food access. While chain supermarkets are not the shining beacon of hope, they are the preferred food shopping location for the majority of Detroit residents even with almost 70 independent local grocers.

Kroger and Walmart are the leading locations to buy groceries by Detroiters, but none are located within the city limits. The Walmart bus shuttles seniors from every corner of the city on a weekly basis.

I was interviewed for this CNN piece on the topic. Read more: How the rise of supermarkets left out black America

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Map: Detroit’s Pizza Place Geography

DETROITography

Detroit-pizza-geography-map

This map idea has been sitting in the back of my head ever since Nathan Yau of FlowingData analyzed the pizza place geography of the United States. The map is based on which pizza place is nearest to particular areas of the city broken down into a grid (microhoods actually – shout out to Motor City Mapping project).

Numerous recent news reports highlight the hoarding of frozen pizza, the rallying of pizza chain stock prices, and the overall growth of pizza chains during the coronavirus pandemic. Pizza Hut, Papa John’s, and Domino’s all reported plans to hire more workers to meet the demand. Where might those people be in Detroit?

Detroit-pizza-geography-multiples

Detroit is home to the headquarters or birthplace of multiple pizza chains including: Little Caesar’s (HQ, founded in Garden City), Buddy’s (claim to the “Detroit-style”), Happy’s (founded 1994), and the specialty pizza spots only found in Detroit including…

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Map: Detroit’s Altered Grocery Landscape 2020

DETROITography

DFM-covid-grocery-050820Food isn’t the same in Detroit anymore. All independent grocers have reduced their operating hours – many have reduced staff as workers stopped showing up for fear of exposure. Restaurants are becoming small grocers, “groceries” are distributed in drive-thru lines, and emergency food providers have become a lifeline as unemployment has skyrocketed.

Retailers are now mandated to limit the number of people inside their stores, require all employees (and customers) wear masks, and offer special hours to vulnerable populations.

As part of the Detroit Grocery Coalition, convened by the Detroit Food Policy Council, I’ve been tracking changes along with colleagues at the City of Detroit. Independent grocers are holding steady in the neighborhoods although at reduced staffING, hours, and sometimes supply chain – but the landscape of support during COVID-19 shows specific food access opportunity patterns across Detroit.

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Map: Arsenal of Health in Detroit 2020

DETROITography

arsenal-of-health

During both World War efforts, Detroit’s factories and their manufacturing might was flipped from automobile production to support for the war effort. During World War II, at least 110 factories in Detroit retooled to produce parts for aircraft, tanks, and weapons.

arsenal-of-democracy

Recently, the news media (Crains, Free Press, Detroit News) have reached back into history in an attempt to compare the Coronavirus global pandemic to a war effort. There are serious issues with comparing a public health response to a war, but today is all about the geography.

Detroit no longer has an arsenal from which to pull. There are no longer over 100 factories within the city limits. The auto industry’s operations are no longer are located in Detroit. The reverse prohibition trend in Detroit has led to the city’s strongest response as Detroit-based breweries and distilleries have started mass producing hand sanitizer rather than beer or spirits. Detroit’s…

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Map: Coffee Shop Shifts in Detroit 2017 – 2019

DETROITography

coffeedensity2019-v2.png

In 2015 I wanted to see how coffee shops in Detroit might relate to research on Starbucks and gentrification. I tracked on-going changes in the coffee landscape in 2017. Now there are more changes in coffee, but it’s more a consolidation than citywide growth. There are a few upcoming neighborhood coffee venues planned, such as Morningside Cafe.

Neighborhoods adjacent to the 7.2 square mile Downtown-Midtown investment zone are seeing expansion and new coffee shops opening up adding to existing density of coffee options. However, neighborhoods a bit further out are starting to lose their coffee shops where there was no change between 2015 to 2017. Most notably Ashe Coffee’s attempt in Rivertown was a flop and the rarely open Coffee and (_____) closed its doors in Jefferson Chalmers. Will Leather Goods (former Tomboy Market) hosted a coffee bar, but everything is closing down to make way for another pizza…

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Map: The Shifting Cost of Coworking in Detroit 2014 to 2017

DETROITography

cowork_landscape_2017

Since 2014, I’ve been following the coworking trend in Detroit. I’ve used space for team work at An Office in Detroit that has seen a change in ownership, but is still going strong. In the last 3 year, there have been 8 coworking spaces that have closed and 13 new spaces opened, including the arrival of WeWork in two Downtown locations and the expansion of Bamboo Detroit into a second space. It is safe to say that the majority of the action is located Downtown within the 48226 zip code.

coworking-2017costchange

The most interesting coworking shift has been change in the monthly price of a drop-in desk or “hot desk.” Out of the 13 spaces that have been operating since 2014, 6 increased their prices, 2 dropped prices, and 5 kept prices the same (first map). In 2014 the average cost of a coworking desk was around $110, but in 2017…

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Map: Basketball Hoops per capita for Children in Detroit 2017

DETROITography

hoops-per-child

Basketball is the most popular sport by far in Southeast Michigan according to the “State of Play” report by the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation. A friend asked me last month if there was any data on all the basketball courts in the city. I knew that the parks kept track of amenities, but that wouldn’t capture all the available courts and hoops in the city that might be located at schools, churches, etc.

I embarked on the joyous adventure of combing Detroit from the skies via Google’s Satellite Imagery and a grid of the city. Basketball courts, it turns out, are fairly easy to spot because of the size of paved space needed, the signature painted lines, and the shadow of basketball poles. Surprisingly, many schools do not have outdoor basketball amenities and many churches have partial courts in their parking lots.

This was in no way…

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Map: Coney Detroit 2017

DETROITography

Coney-Detroit-2017-map

The coney dog was born in Detroit. The 2012 book titled Coney Detroit attributes the “coney dog” to Greek emigrants who likely passed through Ellis Island in New York (near the birthplace of the hot dog, Coney Island).

Coney dogs were cheap and quick allowing them to propagate outside of Detroit’s major factories. Workers had short lunches and limited budgets – the coney dog was the answer.

Today, there are multiple opportunities to eat at a Coney Island restaurant or diner. There are a few coney chains in the Southeast Michigan region and in the City of Detroit there are some coney clusters. Detroit’s Downtown is home to the Lafayette versus American rivalry, Northwest has Coney Islands right next to each other and includes Nicky D’s, while East of the State Fairgrounds sports a string of coneys mostly along Conant Street.

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Map: Where is the Heart of Detroit?

DETROITography

The “heart of Detroit” is a common marketing shtick attempting to show the importance and purported hip-ness of a given location. Sometimes that location is a new development and other times it is a historic place marker.

heart-of-detroit-headlines

Thanks to Aaron Foley’s 2012 Mlive article on this very topic and some more recent google searches, there is nice list of locations assumed to be the “heart of Detroit” and with wide geographic variation.

“My inner cartographer wants the “heart” of the city to be the Dexter/Davison/Linwood near Central High School, which is, uh, central to almost everywhere in the city.” – Aaron Foley

heart-detroit-locationsHeart of Detroit:

  • Midtown
  • Downtown
  • Capital Park
  • Barry Subdivision
  • Belle Isle
  • Central High School
  • W. Grand Blvd.
  • Linwood and Gladstone
  • Diack Park/Playground
  • New Center
  • Corktown
  • Brush Park
  • Woodbridge

Anyone can claim the “heart of Detroit,” but how can we determine the true “heart” or center? Mathematically we…

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