Judging by the press coverage, it seems as if thousands of isolated Detroit residents currently live in desolate, barely-populated neighborhoods.To Robert Linn's count, a Detroit resident can be counted as LHB (last house on the block) if they live 300 feet (the length of a short city block) from another resident or place of business. Uprooting these long-term residents has been a huge concern for those concerned with reshaping the city. But Linn, a graduate student at the University of Michigan's MUP program, decided to delve deeper. His blog, Mapping the Straits
, examines Detroit from a spatial and numerical bent. And he stumbled on a very important piece of information.
standard article, this homeowner usually bemoans their isolated
location, but insists that they will never leave. These stories usually
cite these residents as both a reason for, and an obstacle to, efforts
to right-size the city. NPR, The Huffington Post, Time Magazine, Lost Magazine, The Metro Times, Harper's Magazine, and Architect Magazine
all subscribe to this narrative. In fact, almost every national or
local paper -- except for the Detroit Free Press and Model D -- has run at
least one article on the city featuring an interview with one of these
"last house on the block" (LHB) residents.
Contrary to the nearly 30 articles he found on LexisNexis describing LHB residents, Linn's data-mapping shows there are only 134 Detroiters living in isolation from their neighbors. And we may have just found a new favorite blog.
to get the real story.