The current study combines data from all domains of SFANS, including: a) logistic regression analysis of survey data, b) narrative analysis of focus groups and in-depth interviews, c) GIS/thematic analysis of community mapping data, and d) contextual analysis of participant observations. Analyses focus on emergent themes and comparisons among neighborhoods and stakeholder groups of participants’ perspectives on topics in six domains, including community-building, energy/sustainability, education, jobs/economic opportunity, open space/recreation, and transit/mobility. Data collection began in spring 2017 with online and paper surveys; focus groups and in-depth interviews were conducted throughout spring/summer. Participatory mapping was integrated into focus groups and community events where participants identified community strengths and assets of the physical landscape or otherwise meaningful locations. The community-based research team’s field notes are included for context.
Results of statistical analyses show significant findings in all areas, most notably in environmentalism and sustainability. Age, gender, and homeownership are significantly associated with satisfaction that people in participants’ neighborhoods are environmentally conscious; older people, men, and homeowners express greater satisfaction. However, only homeownership emerged as significant in whether participants think environmental-consciousness is important for the new Fairgrounds development residents (by a factor of 10). Race and homeownership are significantly associated with satisfaction that public buildings in participants’ own neighborhoods use “green” technology; but age and gender are the most significant factors for expressing importance of “green” standards for the Fairgrounds development (i.e., younger people and women identified this as a priority).
The emergence of environmentalism and sustainability as major themes aligns with recent efforts in Detroit to clean up its interior and surroundings to help create a more livable, more sustainable city. The SFANS results point to issues such as environmental consciousness, “green” technology, and infrastructure as important for the city to consider and focus on to address the expressed needs and interests of community members and identify groups to target for engagement. The Fairgrounds can be a model for environmentally conscious development and sustainability, but to gain support for such change, we must understand where support lies and with whom, as well as what kinds of changes communities want to see.