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Development News

Detroit Works by the numbers paints interesting picture of Motor City

Quality of life is one of those far reaching buzz phrases that's hard to pin down. The people behind the Detroit Works Project Long Term Planning are trying to do that with regards to living in the Motor City by using some interesting statistics.

"We feel that population loss should not result in a lower quality of life in Detroit," says Dan Pitera, lead of civic engagement for the Detroit Works Project Long Term Planning.

The master planning initiative recently held an media open house showing off the work it has done and how it plans to engage in even more community involvement later this spring. A draft of the Detroit Works Project "Strategic Framework" is set to be released in August. Some of the statistics that will frame that framework are as follows:

Jobs: Most U.S. cities have between 35-75 jobs per 100 residents. Detroit has 26 jobs per 100 residents, however, five out of six of the new jobs currently created in the city requires a high level of skills, such as computer programing.

Job creation: Metro Detroit is expected to create about 200,000 new jobs by 2040. If current trends continue, only about 8,000 of those will be in Detroit.

Employment: Twenty percent of Detroit’s residents do not have a high school degree, which is 50 percent higher than the national average. The unemployment rate for people without a high school diploma is currently about 15 percent.

Industrial land: About 22 percent of Detroit's industrial land is either vacant or underutilized, however, the volume and usage of this productive land surpasses that of peer cities.

The Detroit Works Project also broke down the city's population into three distinct segments, those who are staying, leaving and arriving. Those that are staying are either senior citizens or young people. The people who are leaving are skilled workers and families with school-aged children. The arrivals are new immigrants and younger entrepreneurs.

Source: Dan Pitera, lead of civic engagement for the Detroit Works Project Long Term Planning
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.
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