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Feeling passionate about Detroit

Young people really do love the Motor City, according to a newly released Gallup and Knight Foundation research.

Here's what the article about the "Soul of the Community" survey had to say about Detroit:

"Areas with some of the lowest percentages of engaged residents (those who feel passionate about where they live) were found in Gary, Ind., Detroit, Mich., Macon, Ga., Akron, Ohio and Wichita, Kan.

While Detroit was in the bottom five, the city does have some momentum building to change that, especially with growing enthusiasm of residents between the ages of 18 to 34, said Katherine Loflin, lead consultant on the project.

"People think a certain thing about Detroit and the area," she said. Residents are trying to turn that around. "They're saying we're not done with this community."

Find the whole story here.

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  • 1

    I lived in State College, PA for two years and visited the LBC (both in the top five) and I can definitely understand their appeal; State College has the Penn State crowd, beautiful scenary, a laid back, positive feeling to it; LBC is, well, reminds me of Royal Oak^2 on the ocean.

    Other than the four years I lived in PA, I never lived more than two miles outside of Detroit. It hasn't been until the last year that I really felt proud of that. My girlfriend grew up in southwest Detroit (Mexicantown) and through dating her I've spent more time than ever downtown. Being from Detroit (or the area) is a badge of honor. There are only so many cities in the world that seem to be universally recognizable, and for better or for worse, Detroit is one of those cities.

    I think it's the artist in me that loves the city the most. As a writer/comedian/newbie filmmaker (one award-winning short under my belt), I see Detroit as a tarnished canvas waiting for a fresh coat, a city waiting for the creative community to really take hold of it and make something of it. There's so much potential here. There's so much young talent. You have other cities that have their reputation pretty much cemented. You have all these other cities who are like the person in his late twenties, done with college, settled into a career, in for the long, boring haul. Detroit is an old, ravaged soul, with a childlike wonder, ready for its second wind. It's strong, it rolls with the punches and laughs along with them. There's so much left for this city to do, and as much as I love sunny California (and man, do I love it) or the beautiful mountains of Pennsylvania, I love knowing that I'm a part of a community that's really going to show the world what this city is made of. How many other cities can say that?

  • 2

    I am so thrilled to hear that Time is taking on the awesome challenge of covering a year in the life of Detroit. In fact, I'm ecstatic!

    I am not a Detroit native. I live clear across the state in Muskegon, but I consider myself a descendant of Detroit.

    My great grandparents immigrated there. They worked for Ford Motor Company and cleaned houses for wealthy Jewish families. My grandparents raised their boys in Detroit, and now, decades later, a fourth (and fifth) generation returns to the once vibrant city to see the beautiful brick houses and ethnic bakeries our parents and grandparents once frequented daily.

    We still buy pastries there for my grandmother who lives 200 miles north, as a special treat for her, and just to say, "We were in Detroit this weekend!" It always brings a smile, and a story from way back when.

    Despite ruin all around, memories of days gone by have not faded for her. I think everyone in Michigan has their own favorite story from Detroit. We're proud to call it our own, all the good, the bad and the ugly.

    "The D" truly is Michigan's town, and I'm proud to call it our own.

  • 4

    The Detroit area has gone through so much sprawl due in part to the label Motor City and auto companies encouraging auto use. A vital component to a successful city is a walkable downtown that is multi-faceted and supported by people in the city, and very importantly those visiting from near and far. Stores that have regular customers are integral to developing neighborhoods. Landlords that control Detroit residential and business properties have to realize neighborhoods take patience to build trust. Trust is what heals needs, and the city has a lot of failed trust over the years. Trust depends on listening.

    Detroit has had 3 race riots in 100 years. The city seal and flag bear inscriptions saying the city must heal.

    I feel it is that underdog spirit and pride of working from what others call nothing to BE something that matters. Detroiters are not who people say they are. There is a mental spirit in them of being capable of so much more.

    If you stay within your neighborhood circle, the known world becomes very small. Each day meet one, greet one, and listen to the stories. Urban sprawl doesn't support story telling very well when you have to shout to be heard.

  • 5

    I have yet to live or work in Detroit, but have spent countless hours in and around downtown experiencing the city. The "Assignment Detroit" project has even more so inspired me to try and find ooportunities for both employment and residency within the city limits. I would love to be a part of the great cities rebirth.

  • 6

    I am currently a resident in Detroit, living in the historic, renowned Lafayette Towers and working at the Main Library of the Detroit Public Library. You better believe I am passionate about my beloved city. I grew up here, experiencing much of what the Time writers described in the late 1950's and into the 1960's. I remember Plum Street, the Grande Ballroom, and the riots. I choose to live in the city proper because even though it has its dicey areas, I feel relatively safe. I hope Time takes into consideration that there are many professionals (white and female, like myself) who believe that Detroit will come back, perhaps not how it used to be in the 50's, but it will be restored.

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