Nina Ignaczak | metromode
All around the Motor City, people are starting to talk transit.
In 2013, M-1 Rail broke ground along Woodward in Detroit, work commenced to speed up the Pontiac-to-Chicago Amtrak line, talk of an Ann-Arbor to Detroit commuter line moved incrementally closer to reality, AirRide expanded bus service between Ann Arbor and DTW, Bus Rapid Transit emerged as the preferred alternative for regional mass transit, and after 40 years of failed attempts, a Regional Transit Authority was finally established for metropolitan Detroit.
 Bedrock Properties Along Woodward Ave
Now, public officials and developers across the region are readying themselves to reap the economic potential of functional transit – something many cities across the country have already done.
Take Atlanta, for example.
“Atlanta was the poster child for sprawl,” says Chris Leinberger, Research Professor at George Washington University School of Business. “The metro area grew from 50 miles north to south in 1970 to over 120 miles today, sprawling farther and faster than any city in human history.”
Leinberger authored The WalkUP Wake-up Call: Atlanta. The study documents that over 60 percent of Atlanta’s recent real estate development was concentrated in just one percent of its land area – most of it near transit stops.

“Now Atlanta is witnessing the end of sprawl,” he says. “If it’s happening in Atlanta, this is a significant national real estate trend. The market is saying no more sprawl.”
Leinberger expects that trend to take place in Metro Detroit – both in the city and in the suburbs.
“Probably 40-50 percent of walkable urban development will be in the center city,” he says, “but the majority of it -50 to 60 percent- will be in surrounding suburbs in places like Birmingham, Ferndale, Royal Oak, and Ann Arbor.” {….}
Phot Credit – David Lewinski Photography