University of Michigan Gateway Ford School

Rust Belt Revitalization: who Benefits?

Reynolds Farley, Population Studies Center, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan
Mick Couper, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan

Professors Farley and Couper received funding through CLOSUP's Major Projects Program (FY 2004) to support this project to examine urban revitalization in Detroit

Abstract:
After several decades of lethargic growth, unambiguous signs of revitalization appeared in metropolitan Detroit during the 1990s. Vehicle manufacturers effectively met the demands of a booming market and the city's economic base successfully shifted toward health care, education, entertainment and recreation. Nevertheless, racial residential segregation is at a peak in metropolitan Detoit and residents of the city and those in the suburbs differ greatly on all key social and economic indicators. Urban underclass neighborhoods persist.

The 2004 Detroit Area Study (DAS) will investigate whether the revitalization now underway minimized or exacerbated city-suburban and black-white differences. A major component will be an encompassing survey to study racial attitudes, job search, housing search and the causes of continued residential segregation by race and economic status. Key questions asked in the 1976 and 1992 DAS will be repeated but technological innovations now allow us to more effectively test hypotheses about the net effects of race on residential decisions.

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