Monday, January 14, 2008

Downtowns for everyone

The suburbs, too, desire revitalized downtowns. The News looks at Clawson's efforts to improve its downtown at the intersection of 14 Mile and Main, and Crain's Detroit looks at a plan to create a "downtown" Southfield where none currently exists.

I post these as a reminder that despite the dreams of urban planners, Detroit already is and will remain a sprawling region. The city of Detroit may revitalize itself, but the suburbs will not magically retrench back within its borders. But sprawl is not a lost cause. The visionary nonprofit Michigan Suburbs Alliance has much to say about what can be done for the inner-ring suburbs and the region as a whole to make the best of an un-ideal planning situation.

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