Meet catalysts for neighborhood growth

Since the beginning of the year we've been tracking jobs being created by small businesses in Michigan. 

Our sister publications have been doing the same as part of a statewide effort called the 1,000 Jobs project. Our partner on this project is the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, or MSHDA.

The work is critical to determining where the state is headed in improving its employment picture.

But that's only part of the story. The people and places behind innovation and jobs are where we can really take the pulse of statewide recovery. It's where we're able to put a human face to a project that statistics, important as they are, cannot do. 

That's where this quarterly Special Report comes in. Not to push at you numbers and data but real people who are transforming neighborhoods, engaging communities, changing cities for the better with work that matters. 

The cities where we looked for evidence of

economic and social energy are Detroit, Grand Rapids and Marquette. In the coming months, neighborhoods in other cities in Michigan will be profiled.

Our aim is to find a catalyst in each city that spurred economic growth in a single block, then rippled into other developments across the neighborhood. Some of these developments are organic and unexpected; others are the product of smart urban planning or city-led strategies.

We intend this series to be entertaining as well as educational. Not to mention inspirational. All come filled with great ideas and examples of best business practices that really work, some in non-traditional ways. Dig in and enjoy the read. There'll be much more to come.

Three neighborhoods in Michigan cities were the focus of this special three-part report, which includes reporting from Detroit, Grand Rapids and Marquette.

Catalysts for Neighborhood Growth
Heartside Grand Rapids
Take a tour of the Heartside Neighborhood in Grand Rapids with Juliet Rylah.
Downtown Marquette
Kurt Mensching shows how small business has transformed Downtown Marquette.
Corktown Detroit
Read Noelle Lothamer's piece on Detroit's Corktown

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