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Birmingham Alabama becoming Detroit of the south?


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I find the notion that Birmingham is becoming the "Detroit of the South" more flawed than a validity to the argument. Although in the past I've said that it could wind up becoming the "Detroit of the South", but the thing is that Birmingham has and Detroit doesn't is a large research university and its surrounding think tank like UAB.

Birmingham crime issues is not going to make an 180 overnight, but the fact that Birmingham Police Chief Roper, Mayor Langford are making serious and major efforts to put a hold on the city's crime issues are showing that they are trying. It is showing because overall crime is down and the number of homicides and violent crimes are down. They have all made it their goal to change the mindset that Birmingham is a "dangerous place" for law-abiding citizen rather a dangerous place for criminals. The BPD has made 5 major crime sweeps over the past 3 months, so one can't say they city's leaders aren't trying. However, it takes time, efforts, and finally patience.

The city's schools are whole nother issues. The problem has been and will be the Birmingham Board of Education which in my opinion should have never been made an elected one. Until this city sees a major demographic shift from an highly informed base of electorate to one that is more informed and not so politically polarized then the Birmingham BOE will continue to be a group of incompetent individuals that lack the political forititude to make the decisions to fix this ailing school district. One can only hope the Alabama State Board of Education does take over the Birmingham School District so that it can make the major decisions and cost-cutting measures to ensure the district's students will get a full quality education and more of a chance to have a variety of advance placement and foreign language courses offered at other schools in surrounding districts.

Birmingham is actually gaining more white collar jobs now more than ever, and many groups from the Greater Birmingham are now lobbying to the Alabama Development Office and the State Legislature to ensure more incentives and recruitment efforts to bring in even more white collar jobs. Birmingham is far from being a one-shop town with jobs in the financial, medical, biotech sectors and all of which are rapidly growing. Most of the manufacturing auto jobs are on this regions periphery in areas like Vance and Lincoln, an other parts of the state like Hyundai in the South Central Alabama and Toyota in Decatur. So even economically, Birmingham is far from becoming a "Detroit" because its economy is not based on one particular economic sector.

Detroit has and is still only experiencing "urban revitalization" within its downtown areas while it has yet to see most of its other neighbhorhoods make a comeback. Birmingham on the other hand is existing revitalization in its City Center, surrounding neighboroohds and the beginnings to make a turnaround in other neighhorhoods even in areas quite a distance from the City Center like Ensley.

So no, Birmingham is not on the verge of becoming the "Detroit of the South"

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Detroit has two major research universities: The University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) and Wayne State University (Detroit). Together with Michigan State University in nearby Lansing, they have created the University Research Corridor which is actually comparable to other major research groups in Massachusetts, North Carolina, etc.

Also, Detroit is a much larger city than Birmingham. The city of Birmingham has 236,000 people in an area of 150 sq. mi. Detroit has 920,000 people in an area of 140 sq. mi. Hell, Detroit has suburban areas that have more people than the city of Birmingham in a smaller area. The Royal Oak area has a population of 225,000 people in an area of just 43 sq. mi.

Oakland County (which is only the second largest County in Metro Detroit) has a larger population than the entire Birmingham CSA. The Detroit CSA has more people than there are in the entire state of Alabama.

So, no I believe Houston actually became the Detroit of the South...

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I believe the point of this thread was really to talk about the issues facing Birmingham AL. Let us NOT turn this into a pissing contest between to cities that are both great in their own right, and NOTHING alike.

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There are tons of universities in Metro Detroit or close to the Detroit area but how do you figure Royal Oak has 225,000 people? I only see 60K do you mean the cities surrounding Royal oak too like Southfield, Livonia, Troy and Warren? The largest suburb of Detroit is Warren at 140K. But Livonia and Sterling Heights have both over 100K. Windsor and Toledo cities that are both next door (less then 10 mins) from the metro detroit area have a population of approximately 1.3 mil and those aren't included in the population. As I said before you really can't compare Detroit and Birmingham, Detroit is more similar in size to Atlanta. Matter of fact metro Atlanta just passed metro Detroit's core population a year or two ago (not including Ann Arbor/Flint/Toledo or Windsor which are all close enough to be a CSA). Now in the past people in Detroit have been less inclined to go to college because they felt like they had those dream plant jobs that didn't require an education. Now that those are mostly gone education is a lot more important now in Michigan. Also I think a lot of people who are educated in Michigan especially young people the first thing they do is leave Michigan because they don't want to be in a declining state anymore and want to try something new. Large numbers of people are leaving Detroit and Michigan in particular African Americans and going to places down south like Atlanta, Houston, and North Carolina. There are a very large number of African Americans in Atlanta that are from Michigan. Alabama has just recently gotten those relatively good paying manufacturing jobs in large numbers so before the only way to "get out" was to get an education at a college. All you had to do in Michigan is know somebody or have a family member that worked at a plant and you had a job for life almost...until they started doing heavy layoffs... I know people that work at the plant in Michigan and they are convinced the best way you can make good money is through the plant not school which may have been true back in the day because this person didn't even graduate from high school yet he makes more than engineers I know in Alabama. But thats probably where this perception of not having many colleges in Detroit comes from.

List of Metro Detroit Colleges

* Ave Maria College, Ypsilanti

* Cleary University, Ann Arbor and Howell

* College for Creative Studies, Detroit

* Concordia University, Ann Arbor

* Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills

* Davenport University, multiple Metro Detroit locations

* Dorsey Business School,multiple Metro Detroit locations

* Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti * Henry Ford Community College, Dearborn

* Kettering University, Flint

* Lawrence Technological University, Southfield

* Macomb Community College, Warren and Clinton Township

* Madonna University, Livonia

* Marygrove College, Detroit

* Michigan State University, Troy

* Monroe County Community College, Monroe

* Mott Community College, Flint

* Oakland Community College, multiple Oakland County locations

* Oakland University, Rochester

* Rochester College, Rochester Hills

* Schoolcraft College, Livonia

* Specs Howard School of Broadcast Arts, Southfield

* Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit

* SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary, Orchard Lake

* University of Detroit Mercy, Detroit

* University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

* University of Michigan-Dearborn, Dearborn

* University of Michigan-Flint, Flint

* Walsh College, Troy

* Washtenaw Community College, Ann Arbor

* Wayne County Community College, multiple Wayne County locations

* Wayne State University, Detroit

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The Royal Oak area includes several small communities that were mainly incorporated from the former Royal Oak TWP. Royal Oak TWP still technically exists, but it is tiny compared to the original township.

The cities that make up the Royal Oak area are:

Royal Oak - 60,062 - 11.81 sq. mi. - 5,084.3 ppsm

Madison Heights - 31,101 - 7.16 sq. mi. - 4,342.5 ppsm

Oak Park - 29,793 - 5.02 sq. mi. - 5,933.6 ppsm

Ferndale - 22,105 - 3.88 sq. mi. - 5,699.4 ppsm

Birmingham - 19,291 - 4.78 sq. mi. - 4,039.5 ppsm

Hazel Park - 18,963 - 2.82 sq. mi. - 6,730.2 ppsm

Berkley - 15,531 - 2.62 sq. mi. - 5,927.0 ppsm

Clawson - 12,732 - 2.20 sq. mi. - 5,788.6 ppsm

Huntington Woods - 6,151 - 1.47 sq. mi. - 4,197.2 ppsm

Royal Oak TWP - 5,446 - 0.68 sq. mi. - 8,057.9 ppsm

Pleasant Ridge - 2,594 - 0.57 sq. mi. - 4,564.9 ppsm

TOTAL - 223,769 - 43.00 sq. mi. - 5,204.2 ppsm

Warren has the largest population if an individual suburb, but there are actually several suburban areas that are about the same size as Warren (such as Royal Oak) that have a larger population. The Royal Oak area just happens to have the largest population of all the suburban "regions".

Another is Northern Downriver which includes: (Mostly incorporated from the former Ecorse TWP)

Lincoln Park - 40,008 - 5.85 sq. mi. - 6,836.7 ppsm

Southgate - 30,136 - 6.85 sq. mi. - 4,397.0 ppsm

Allen Park - 29,376 - 7.01 sq. mi. - 4,190.8 ppsm

Wyandotte - 28,006 - 5.30 sq. mi. - 5,279.5 ppsm

Ecorse - 11,229 - 2.69 sq. mi. - 4,176.2 ppsm

Melvindale - 10,735 - 2.77 sq. mi. - 3,877.9 ppsm

River Rouge - 9,917 - 2.67 sq. mi. - 3,714.9 ppsm

TOTAL - 159, 407 - 33.15 sq. mi. - 4,809.1 ppsm

Or the Westland area: (mostly incorporated from the former Nankin TWP)

Westland - 86,602 - 20.44 sq. mi. - 4,236.0 ppsm

Inkster - 30,115 - 6.26 sq. mi. - 4,809.4 ppsm

Garden City - 30,047 - 5.86 sq. mi. - 5,125.4 ppsm

Wayne - 19,051 - 6.02 sq. mi. - 3,166.0 ppsm

TOTAL - 165,815 - 38.59 sq. mi. - 4,297.3 ppsm

Or the St. Clair Shores area: (mostly incorporated from the former Erin TWP)

St. Clair Shores - 63,096 - 11.53 sq. mi. - 5,473.8 ppsm

Roseville - 48,129 - 9.81 sq. mi. - 4,906.9 ppsm

Eastpointe - 34,077 - 5.10 sq. mi. - 6,680.5 ppsm

Fraser - 15,297 - 4.19 sq. mi. - 3,653.5 ppsm

Lake TWP - 80 - 0.16 sq. mi. - 511.7 ppsm

TOTAL - 160,679 - 30.78 sq. mi. - 5,220.3 ppsm

Those are the major inner-ring suburb "regions". Royal Oak is to the north along Woodward Ave, St. Clair Shores is to the east along Gratiot Ave, Westland is to the west along Michigan Ave, and Northern Downriver is to the south along Fort St.

That doesn't include many other inner-ring suburbs such as Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, Redford TWP, Hamtramck, Highland Park, Harper Woods and the Grosse Pointes. Redford TWP is the remainder of the township that wasn't annexed by Detroit. Dearborn Heights and Dearborn were formed from the remainder of Dearborn TWP and Springwells TWP that weren't annexed by Detroit. Hamtramck is formed from the portions of Hamtramck TWP that weren't annexed by Detroit. Highland Park was formed from the portions of Greenfield TWP that weren't annexed by Detroit. Harper Woods was the remaining portion of Gratiot TWP that wasn't annexed by Detroit and the Grosse Pointes are the remaining portion of Grosse Pointe TWP that wasn't annexed by Detroit.

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ok new topic.. WILL LARRY LANGFORD end up in prison soon LOL

my brother called me today to tell me that Larry made it onto the front page of the wall street journal today... thats classic.. but you know what I think.. he won't get into a bit of trouble.. if he were white he'd be in prison in a second..

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I think it's self defeating to discuss metro Detroit demography in an Alabama forum. I understand the frustration about people having a misconception about Detroit being a vast wasteland. But you can't blame that on them, Metro Detroits Image as an uneducated shop town with people climbing over each other to get out is media driven. Go to the source, get the people who portray it to the masses that way to show it as it is, just like any other major metropolitan area with the wealth, traffic, and tree lined blvd's. It doesn't matter, we can't run out and correct every inaccurate statement made that makes Detroit look bad, when we do that I feel we make ourselves look bad.

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