Map: Paradise Valley, the Original Innovation District



History is the most crucial context of any city. In thinking about the “lifecourse of place,” or the evolution of a particular geography over time, socio-demographics provide deep insight.

Detroit’s Black community was restricted in where they could legally purchase housing, so there had long been a concentration of Black households in the Paradise Valley area, north of Black Bottom.

Overlaying the current 7.2 square mile boundary onto this map of 1940s non-white households give stark contrast between history and current redevelopment.

Map originally presented by Josh Akers’ in a Book Review of Rebecca Kinney’s book, “Beautiful Wasteland: The Rise of Detroit as America’s Postindustrial Frontier.”

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Published by Alex B. Hill

Alex works to address the impacts of health disparities from chronic diseases through data analysis and community engagement strategies. His personal research is focused on food access, health disparities, and racial justice. Alex's projects and research focus on the need for greater community involvement at all levels and specifically highlights the intersections of power, privilege, and race.

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