Downtown Detroit and Grand Rapids

Good news. Both Detroit and Grand Rapids are on Forbes list of 15 emerging downtowns across the country. Obviously good news for Michigan's two largest cites. But, more important, its good news for their region's and the state's economy. Why?…

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My Detroit News op ed

The Detroit News published today an op ed I wrote about what is needed to recreate vibrant central cities in Michigan –– particularly Detroit. The op ed can be found here. Its basic theme: "The purpose of the exercise: It…

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The path to vibrant Michigan cities

In a recent Detroit Free Press op ed John Austin writes about a Michigan Future report he and I worked on entitled Revitalizing Michigan's Central Cites: A Vision and Framework for Action. The report was published in 2003. As John…

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Brooklyn

A year ago I read about someone who suggested that for those working on city revitalization, Brooklyn was a far more realistic model than Manhattan. The notion being that the assets and scale of Manhattan are not replicable. It seemed…

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Do as the rich do

When it comes to education the Harlem Children's Zone's Geoffrey Canada has it right when he says he wants for Harlem's kids what his rich donors want for their kids. Its a lesson worth remembering as business and education leaders…

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Michigan is a low wage state

Michigan was the birthplace of the 20th Century American mass middle class. Largely built on a foundation of high paid blue collar –– mainly unionized factory –– jobs. It is the main reason Michigan was one of the most prosperous…

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Growing Detroit

The Detroit Regional Chamber's second annual Detroit Policy Conference was terrific. Worth attending in future years. 800 folks turned out to focus on how to accelerate the revitalization of the city. As we have written frequently a vibrant Detroit is…

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Scientists

Even more than machinists and welders we have been told over and over again by policy makers and the business community that American has a critical need for more scientists. The consequence of the so-called dearth of scientists  threatens the American…

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Does everyone need a four year degree?

The answer to the title's question is of course not. But that fact shouldn't change the design of k-12 education away from the goal of every child graduating high school with the ability to pursue a college degree without remediation.…

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Education for an old economy

What worries me the most about the direction education policy is taking is that it seems increasingly disconnected from the economy of today and tomorrow. That we are trying to align education to an economy of stable jobs and occupations…

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