Walkable cities are key to urban recovery

A Paris crosswalk

Yesterday’s Detroit News had an excellent opinion piece on creating walkable (and bikeable) cities in Michigan. It was written by Brad Garmon of the Michigan Environmental Council and Gil White, the past president of the Michigan Association of Realtors.

Michigan needs great, walkable, urban places if it is to mount a serious economic recovery.

In essence, the idea is this: If we build places where the best and brightest want to live, our economy will reap the benefits in job creation, skilled workers and entrepreneurial activity. If we fail to build them, those same folks will continue to go elsewhere, taking their job skills, creativity and disposable income with them.

Michigan has not kept our young, talented professionals “because you’ve not offered them the walkable urban way of living, and they’ve left,” Leinberger says. “It’s not the only reason, of course, but it’s significant. You’ve got folks in this country that would love to move back to Michigan if there was any hope and any option that they could live the kind of life that they want to live.”

Both Garmon and White are on the Leadership Council of People and Land. One of their “Pillars for Prosperity” is to build attractive cities and neighborhoods.

They note that even Michigan’s best-performing city, Ann Arbor ranks 184th among the top 200 performing cities nationwide.

What’s it going to take to initiate this change?

Given the attitudes and aptitudes in our current road commissions, local, county governments, and SEMCOG — it’s going to take a generational change in leadership. We need new elected officials who aren’t satisifed with the failings of our current status quo plans for the future and are committed to stepping up to move us forward.

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One Response to “Walkable cities are key to urban recovery”

  1. Breaking the law at Kensington Metropark | m-bike.org Says:

    […] Township regulates activities at Kensington Metropark through their ordinances. Besides requiring bicycle helmets only on the paved bike path, they have an ordinance that regulates the possession of bicycles […]

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