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Race and Revitalization in the Rust Belt: A Motor City Story

Publication Abstract

Download PDF versionFarley, Reynolds, Mick P. Couper, and Maria Krysan. 2007. "Race and Revitalization in the Rust Belt: A Motor City Story." PSC Research Report No. 07-620. April 2007.

This report describes Detroit’s recent history of economic decline, racial unrest, and massive demographic change, as well as the substantial revitalization efforts that are now reshaping downtown Detroit and many inner city neighborhoods. This description serves as a backdrop for presenting findings from the 2004 Detroit Area Study (DAS). The DAS was a University of Michigan survey of adult residents of the metropolis conducted annually from 1951 through 2004, focused each year upon different aspects of social and economic trends. The 2004 DAS investigated city-suburban and black-white economic changes as well as the attitudes Detroit area resident hold about racial issues, their preferences for different types of neighborhoods, and where they searched in the past or will search in the future for employment and new homes. A major objective of the 2004 study was to determine the causes of continued racial residential segregation and to assess the prospects for more residential integration by race and economic status. This report features many photographs of historic buildings and sites in Detroit and includes several charts and figures depicting both recent demographic trends and findings from our survey of contemporary racial attitudes. The final section describes four key challenges facing Detroit and its suburban ring.

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