News media missing a good story in Detroit, urban analyst says
No one denies Detroit has big problems and faces big challenges. But much of that is yesterday’s news, and many media portrayals of the city and region miss “a robust movement that’s building a new Detroit,” says Curtis Johnson, an urban-affairs analyst, author and commentator who spent years in the public sector. In a recent column for the website citiwire.net, Johnson highlighted the 29 people chosen for the Detroit Revitalization Fellows program as the best example of “the wave of young and mid-career professionals who’re moving to Detroit because they see opportunity.”
The program – a project of Wayne State University, funded by The Kresge Foundation, the Ford Foundation, Hudson-Webber Foundation, the Skillman Foundation and Wayne State – matches professionals with organizations working to improve the city and region.
Despite the economic troubles of the past few years, Detroit has many strong, overlooked assets, such as the third-highest concentration of design professionals in the U.S., and a technology sector that led all other metropolitan regions in percentage growth by the end of last year, says Johnson, president of Citistates Group, a network of journalists, speakers and civic leaders focused on building competitive, equitable and sustainable cities.
Johnson’s column, “Think Detroit’s Done? — Think Again,” is worth a read by anyone interested in the city and its future.