Advocacy Blue Arrows

SHOW 6, June 23, 2010: Michigan Prosperity Agenda: Rightsizing Cities

We talked about one of Michigan’s biggest challenges – population decline in metropolitan areas. The city of Detroit lost around 1 million citizens in the last several decades. The city’s infrastructure was built to serve twice as many people as it now serves. This has resulted in the city’s move toward what Time magazine referred to as “what might be the most ambitious urban makeover in American history.” Other cities in Michigan have experienced similar issues. Prosperity Agenda host Dan Gilmartin is joined by co-host John Gallagher, Business Writer at the Detroit Free Press. Guests include Kurt Metzger, director of Data Driven Detroit, Dan Kildee, co-founder and president of Center for Community Progress, and Linda Smith, executive director of U-SNAP BAC (United Streets Networking and Planning: Building a Community).

Listen to the full show
(length - 37:26)

Dan Gilmartin

Dan Gilmartin, executive director and CEO of the Michigan Municipal League, explains the large population losses experienced in some of Michigan’s largest cities and what community leaders are now trying to do to improve their cities.

Gilmartin discusses why it’s important for the entire state to look at what’s happening in cities like Flint and Detroit .
(length - 1:29)

John Gallagher

John Gallagher covers urban and economic development for the Detroit Free Press where he has been a reporter since 1987. He is working on a new book, Reimagining Detroit: Opportunities for Redefining and American City, due to come out in the fall.

Gallagher discusses the articles he’s written for the Free Press about right-sizing Detroit.
(length - 5:28)

Kurt Metzger

Kurt Metzger is a demographer and director of Data Driven Detroit, the organization that recently completed a plot-by-plot analysis of the city of Detroit. After speaking for 30 years about the need for coordinated data collection and delivery in Southeast Michigan, Kurt was selected by the Skillman and Kresge foundations in October 2008 to develop and direct a new foundation-funded regional data indicators system.

Metzger reviews some of the informational data his organization has gathered on Michigan and Detroit. (length - 9:04)

Dan Kildee

Dan Kildee is co-founder and president of the Center for Community Progress. Prior to founding the Center, Kildee served as Genesee County Treasurer from 1997-2009. Before his election as Treasurer, he served for 12 years as a Genesee County Commissioner, including five years as Chairman of the Board of Commissioners.

Kildee talks about his work in Flint and across the nation in forming Land Banks to help improve communities and rid them of abandoned buildings.
(length - 11:20)

Linda Smith

Linda Smith is executive director of U-SNAP BAC Non-Profit Housing Corporation, a position she has held since 1995. U-SNAP BAC is a consortium of community and business organizations that work together to provide safe, decent and affordable homes for low-to-moderate income families. She has implemented a comprehensive Neighborhoods Housing Strategy Plan for her community which includes the construction of both affordable single-family houses and rental townhouses.

Smith discusses some of the things U-SNAP has done in southeast Michigan.

(length - 9:04)

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