Week 6 – Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program

Week 6

This week, Detroit made headlines across the world by making TIME’s list of the 50 Greatest Places. While this is undeniably an accomplishment, I can’t help but feel that this is simply advancing the narrative that ignores the vast majority of Detroit. As we learned, Detroit’s economic growth has largely been concentrated in 7.2 square miles that have been heavily gentrified, while the rest of the 144 square mile city has essentially been tossed aside.

TIME’s list only furthers this process. On the surface, it hails Detroit as a whole, but every single hotel and restaurant the list mentions falls within the 7.2 square mile area. The President and CEO of Visit Detroit proclaimed that the ranking is about every part of Detroit, not just one specific neighborhood. In an effort to prove this, he listed Corktown, Greektown, and Midtown – three gentrified neighborhoods comfortably within the 7.2 square mile block. Clearly, TIME has only ranked Detroit on this list for its new economic development.

To be clear, I do believe Detroit is a fantastic city that deserves to be recognized for its historic roots and deeply embedded culture. However, it’s obvious that TIME’s ranking of Detroit was done for the wrong reasons. By ignoring what’s most important to the city, and focusing on the whitest and wealthiest portion of Detroit, it’s evident that TIME’s ranking is only doing more harm to the city than good.

3 thoughts on “Week 6”

  1. Edisa Niyifasha

    Hi Om,

    I am very surprised that it even made it to the 50 list because a huge part of Detroit is rough compared to the 7.2, At this point, I believe whenever Detroit is being mentioned or associated, they are more or likely talking about the gentrified areas or Gilbertville.

  2. Hey Om!
    Thanks for sharing the TIME article. I definitely agree that Detroit’s feature on the list pushes the narrative of gentrification.

  3. Hi Om,
    I totally agree with you in the fact that Time is completely ignoring the vast majority of Detroit. It is a great point that the article only focused on the 7.2 and ignores the rest of the city. However, we love to see Detroit making these waves and people noticing. I am hoping that this article will only bring more support and love to the city in the long run and hopefully will be good for the entire city as a whole.

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