Becoming Detroit | U-M SPH Findings Online

Becoming Detroit

Like the water from which it draws its name, Detroit is at once a physical entity and a phenomenon in constant motion. Since its first recorded mention in 1670, by French missionaries, this storied American site has been many things to many people—shelter, fort, farm, sanctuary, battleground, territorial capital, incipient city and industrial powerhouse, a magnet for musicians and a canvas for artists of all kinds. Nestled at the base of Michigan’s thumb, along a liquid seam that stitches together two nations and three great lakes, Detroit is a place of currents and connections. Above all, to the countless people from across the globe who over the course of three centuries have come here to live, work, and dream, it is home.

  • We Are Detroit

    We Are Detroit

    A brief history of the city’s evolving demographics. Includes photo gallery.

  • Seeing Detroit

    Seeing Detroit

    To plan for tomorrow’s city, today’s residents are documenting the “Cues to Care” they find within their communities. Includes photo gallery.

  • Writing Detroit

    Writing Detroit

    The factory work ethic still permeates a city haunted by the ghosts of assembly lines past. And that’s good news for the future.

  • Being Detroit

    Being Detroit

    As we think about Detroit in the first years of the 21st century, it behooves us to reflect on the city’s 300-year history—and on how that history relates to human health and well-being.

  • Leading Detroit

    Leading Detroit

    A new generation--young, smart, and above all compassionate-- steps up to the plate.

  • Detroit: Food City

    Detroit: Food City

    When it comes to food, Detroit is a tale of many cities.