Map: Detroit Neighborhood Coffee Shop Density 2015

DETROITography

DetroitCoffeeDensity

Some research has said that the existence of coffee shops is a marker of gentrification (Papachristos et al., 2011). A Zillow study found a correlation between Starbucks locations and rising rent and home values. The problem is that Starbucks stores often locate in wealthier neighborhoods, so it becomes difficult to say what is the true relational direction. However, in 2008 Starbucks closed some 600 locations in relatively poorer areas. If anything the jury is still out on coffee shops being a driver or simply an indicator of broader social policies that contribute to gentrification.

Specifically in Detroit, where do home values have to go but up? Demolished seems to be the only other option. In October 2015, Dynamo Metrics release a report funded by the Skillman Foundation and Rock Ventures that attempted to model spatial-temporal impacts on home values from demolitions. The study followed commonly held knowledge that…

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Map: Landscape of Children vs. Elderly in Detroit

DETROITography

children-elderly-det2

I’ve been interested in the impacts of various issues on children in Detroit, from traffic fatalities to areas with the most children. The flip side, focusing on the elderly, is also very important and often overlooked in current development efforts in the city.

The age balance or imbalance across the geography of Detroit results in some interesting areas where children or the elderly make up a majority. Not surprisingly many of the areas with the most children also have fewer elderly residents. The riverfront has a larger elderly population often associated with the senior apartment high rises. Grand River cuts an interesting pattern along the Westside where there are more elderly above the Avenue and more children below.

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Map: Can Detroit Really Be Compared to Any Other City?

DETROITography

detroit-cities3

Can Detroit really be compared to any other city? No doubt everyone has tried comparing crime rates, economy, and poverty levels in Detroit with other troubled cities. A few groups have even tried fitting different city land areas into Detroit’s 139 square (land) miles. It always seems that Detroit has too much or too little of something for a city to city comparison to make much sense. Rob Linn had similar thoughts and instead of comparing land area or other commonly compared attributes he analyzed infrastructure density (feet of street per resident) as a method to debate the misguided “rightsizing” push. Rob found that Detroit had a high rate of “feet of street per resident” which caused some areas of the city to appear more vacant when in reality they had healthier infrastructure density.

The 2010 Census population for Detroit was 713,777, closer to San Francisco’s. Imagine San Francisco’s southern edge…

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