New Clear Vision


constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted


Good Fellows

September 12, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Economy, Jay Walljasper

Young People’s Fascination with Detroit Is Only Part of the Story…

by Jay Walljasper

Sprinkled among gloom-and-doom stories coming out of Detroit is some unexpected good news: the city’s growing appeal to young people.  According to plentiful media reports, well-educated twenty-somethings are streaming into the Motor City to test out new ideas, explore art and music projects or launch D-I-Y revitalization initiatives.

The real story is a bit more complex than that, but you can spot a number of once-dormant corners of the city now pulsing with activity thanks to young entrepreneurs.  Corktown, in the shadow of the much-photographed ruin of Detroit’s train station, sports pubs and restaurants that would fit in Brooklyn or Portland.   (more…)

Hard-Working Spirit

August 01, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Economy, Jay Walljasper

Community-Based Revitalization in Southwest Detroit

by Jay Walljasper

Cities are complex hives of human activity that highlight all that’s inspiring and troubling about modern life, often at the same time.

New York’s revitalized districts sizzle with creative fervor yet other parts of town struggle with poverty and drugs. Chicago’s Lakefront exudes prosperity while pockets of the West and South sides look like they’ve been bombed. Even an economically challenged city like Philadelphia sports charming, bustling Center City neighborhoods along with extensive post-industrial ruins.

We expect extremes in American cities — except in the case of Detroit, which all too often viewed as one, big, monolithic mess. Folks elsewhere can’t even imagine the existence of beloved spots in the city like Riverwalk, Campus Martius, Eastern Market, the Dequindre Cut trail, cozy neighborhood restaurants or hot music clubs. (more…)