Week 8: Learning About Detroit, Not Just the “7.2” – Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program

Week 8: Learning About Detroit, Not Just the “7.2”

Upon joining Nortown CDC and reading “How to Kill a City,” I realized that my previous experiences with Detroit were very one-sided. While in middle school and high school, I volunteered with an organization to help serve homeless people in the Midtown/Cass Corridor area. I had always thought of this as the rougher side of Detroit, because that is what the organization led me to believe. In recent years, Midtown has seen revitalization and gentrification which has significantly changed the landscape of the neighborhood. I saw new trendy restaurants, cool bars, breweries, high end retail shops, bike lanes, dog parks, etc. Upon seeing how this area had changed, I thought that Detroit was really starting to make a comeback, albeit at the cost of gentrification. I now realize that Detroit is so much bigger than Downtown, Midtown, and Corktown. The so-called “7.2” is but a fraction of the area of Detroit, and the economic revitalization that has been focused on it has left many Detroiters out in the cold. My previous perception of Detroit was skewed toward the 7.2; it did not leave room for the people living in places like Delray or Nortown (communities that I did not know even existed before this summer). I’m very grateful to DCERP for showing this very important book to me. Reading “How to Kill a City” and working with a Detroit nonprofit have opened my eyes to the city beyond the limits of the 7.2.

1 thought on “Week 8: Learning About Detroit, Not Just the “7.2””

  1. I feel the same way – the media manipulates Detroit and ignores large swaths of the city. My experience at my site was critical to my understanding of the wide perspectives and identities across the city that, like you said, are much much more than the “7.2”

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