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

DETROITography

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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.

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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

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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: Languages Spoken in Detroit Homes 2014

DETROITography

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Households in Detroit in general are homogeneous; the city ranks low on the diversity scale due to the 83% majority African-American population. However, the city has incredibly concentrated neighborhoods of cultural significance. Detroit remains a global city.

Southwest Detroit is most often referred to as Mexicantown due to the large Mexican-American population that can be traced back for decades in the city. There was a small, but growing Mexican foreign born population in the 1960s (map). The increase in Mexican immigration was due in large part to the industrial jobs offered by Henry Ford. Mexican-Americans are currently the largest single immigrant group in Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties.

Warrendale, on the city’s lower Westside, neighbors Dearborn and has a similar history of Middle Eastern immigrants with the first coming in the 1870s. Various waves of immigration followed Middle Eastern conflict such as the Lebanese Civil War, the Gulf…

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Map: Detroit is Full of Old Housing

DETROITography

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Housing in Detroit is often discussed in terms of its absence or dilapidation. It’s no wonder that Detroit’s housing stock has suffered over the decades of job loss, disinvestment, and discrimination. When nearly 40% of residents live below the poverty line, investing in housing comes secondary to food, water, heat, etc. The vast majority of the city (93%) was built before 1978 when the Lead Rule banning lead in paint was adopted.

The city saw a housing boom during and after World War II when thousands of people migrated to Detroit for good paying jobs which at the time made up one-sixth of all employment in the country. Currently, 62% of residential housing was built before 1950 in Detroit.

Internationally, housing has been shown to be a critical component of good health. Whether it is providing a cement floor and tin roof to families in Haiti or ensuring routine maintenance…

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Map: Respiratory Risk in Detroit

DETROITography

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Air quality is extremely difficult to capture due to changing wind direction (generally moving from SW to NE), temperature change, size of the Detroit-Windsor airshed, and various other factors. Measuring air quality at a neighborhood level is next to impossible without an extensive network of instruments to collect data in a small area.

A handful of data sources can be helpful in examining the issue, but still lack the necessary specificity. This is highlighted in Southwest Detroit where persistent asthma, emergency calls, and respiratory risk are all categorized as low even while there is such a high density of pollution emitting facilities.

Many anecdotal accounts of teachers keeping a drawer full of inhalers and inhalers being sold for cash on the street all indicate that respiratory risk is higher in Southwest Detroit than the data show, but people are likely not utilizing emergency and other health services.

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Map: Home Range of the Detroit Pheasant

DETROITography

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For the last few years I’ve been thinking about Detroit’s most interesting bird around Thanksgiving time. Living near Brush St. and I-94, my dog and I would regularly see a male pheasant patrolling the vacant lots next to the expressway. This year I started working on the Eastside and on an almost weekly basis came across a pheasant flying in front of my car along Ferry St. before Mt. Elliott.

I started scrapping any and all online media that mentioned pheasant sightings in Detroit and included the data from WDET’s crowdsourcing (read more on the history of Detroit pheasants here too). For the analysis I had 109 sightings of roughly 300 pheasants in Detroit between 2002 and 2016. Some sightings were likely the same pheasant seen over and over again while others were just a lone bird out looking for food beyond its normal range.

Using inverse distance weighting…

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Map: Detroit Murals in the Market vs. Graffiti Tickets

DETROITography

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The city has ramped up ticketing for blight violators and that includes properties with graffiti. In some reported cases the graffiti tickets included sanctioned murals and street art, for example Eastern Market, Brooklyn Street Local (restaurant), and the Grand River Creative Corridor. Those tickets led the Mayor to apologize and dismiss all graffiti tickets for murals and signs.

As the artwork for Murals in the Market 2016 has started coming together. I started wondering how many of these graffiti offenses involved buildings in Eastern Market, where there is already a high number of sanctioned murals.

In some cases there have been buildings with both a new mural wall location and a graffiti ticket, but the majority of those have been dismissed graffiti tickets for sanctioned murals. There were 28 graffiti tickets in Eastern Market between 2015 – 2016 and 14 have been dismissed. The majority of businesses ticketed for…

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Map: Geography of Baseball Diamonds in the Detroit Region

DETROITography

terrapattern-baseball-detroit-regionTerrapattern recently launched to investigate typologies of similar places across cities via satellite imagery.

“…the Terrapattern prototype is intended to demonstrate a workflow by which users—such as journalists, citizen scientists, humanitarian agencies, social justice activists, archaeologists, urban planners, and other researchers—can easily search for visually consistent “patterns of interest”. We are particularly keen to help people identify, characterize and track indicators which have not been detected or measured previously, and which have sociological, humanitarian, scientific, or cultural significance.”

I decided to click on the baseball diamond at Tigers Stadium to see what places were similar in “Detroit” – Terrapattern’s sample area for Detroit includes a broader area beyond the city limits, but also cuts off the Far Westside.

terrapatttern-baseballThe result is this great geographic plot of similar images and a series of snapshots of other baseball diamonds. Terrapattern even gives you a nice GeoJSON file to play with if you…

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