Where Did We Go? Exploring Community With The Detroit Agenda (Map)

Friday, June 13, 2014

By Terry Parris Jr.

This week we've been running stories through the Detroit Agenda about the importance of community, how it's maintained and, in some cases, does it still exist in Detroit. We were in Delray, Midtown, Downtown and the University District exploring this idea.

Above is a story map of our week in these communities. Click the next arrow on the slide to view a portion of the piece.

Below are four clips from our four community stories and the map above allows you to explore images and experts from various parts of our reporting. Each pin shows you a part of the story and what it looked like.

Is Detroit Still A Community?

In this piece, WDET's Quinn Klinefelter asked the question: "Is Detroit Still A Community?"

Here is 98-year-old author and activist Grace Lee Boggs:

“I don’t think we’re a comeback city. I think everybody that thinks that there’s a coming back is really thinking of going back, which we’re not gonna do. We’re gonna go forward to something new.”

What's Going On In Delray?

Pat Bacheller went to Delray, an area nestled along the Detroit River between Zug Island and the Ambassador Bridge. Few communities in Detroit have suffered as much as Delray where the population to a 10th of what it once was. And there’s really not much of a community left.

"You’re living in our great-grandmother’s house, and you kinda want to keep that. That’s a part of you. There’s a sense of community. People want to keep that, they live next to their friends, their neighbor, their family."

From Cass Corridor To Midtown

Before it was Midtown, it was the Cass Corridor and it went from the "notorious Cass Corridor" to one of the 10 up-and-coming neighborhoods in the nation (according to USA Today). J. Carlisle Larsen went out looking for this story of change and rebranding. Here she speaks with Sharlene Dexter, a barmaid at the Bronx Bar, who has been in the Cass Corridor since the 1970s.

“Midtown will always be the Cass Corridor, honey. In peoples’ eyes Midtown will always be the Cass Corridor."

A Strong Community In The University District

Viable, functioning neighborhoods don't get half of the attention the blight and the abandonment in Detroit gets. But the University District is one of those viable neighborhoods. Daniel Long went to this neighborhood in Detroit to find out what has brought them.

"If you drive down not just my block, or not just my street – but this neighborhood, this neighborhood still looks good and you don’t see that when you see pictures of Detroit nationally, they don’t show this neighborhood."

WDET’s news team took to the streets to talk to hundreds of Detroiters about their neighborhoods – asking what they wanted for their communities – and what needs to change. Learn more about The Detroit Agenda here.