Where does Michigan begin?

December 3, 2011

Perkins + WIll 35
Perkins + WIll 35, photo by orijinal

The headline of Gary Wilson’s editorial at the Great Lakes Echo caught my eye this morning: Great Lakes: A ship with no name in search of a captain. Gary begins:

In the past two weeks Chicago has been the center of a rare commodity in the Great Lakes region: Forward-looking thought. And I mean the future, not just until the next election or fiscal year.

P-17= Steel Mills at mouth of Calumet river Chicago. Fire and boat at left. C.W. Cushman Nedill

Steel Mills at mouth of Calumet river Chicago by IMLS DCC

First, architect and MacArthur Foundation “Genius Award” winner Jeanne Gang presented her vision for transforming the Chicago River from that of an “open sewer” and invasive species highway to becoming a model of a 21st century urban waterway.

Gang’s proposal is conceptual, not an engineering plan. It’s meant to generate interest by the public and discussion that has been lacking. And judging by the large crowd that came to hear her speak, that interest exists.

At the same time Chicago Public Radio was also looking to the future.

Its Front & Center series that focuses on the Great Lakes hosted a one hour program about whether the region can truly collaborate for the greater good of the eight Great Lake states. Or will it continue to play in a zero sum economic game by competing with each other while the region’s combined strengths go untapped?

The consensus of the expert commentators is that the region’s governors see no political gain by collaborating. They’re focused on winning the jobs takeaway game that makes for nice press releases and ribbon cutting ceremonies when they win, but does nothing to strengthen the region.

Excellent questions. Read on for his thoughts about where the leadership to protect the amazingly interconnected wonder that are Lakes Michigan, Huron, Superior, Erie and Ontario may (or may not) come from .

There’s no doubt that it will take all the states on the lakes and the governments of the United States and Canada and their citizenry to do it. I’m pretty confident that the character & vision of our leaders and all of us on the Great Lakes will be important to generations yet unborn.

Turning Basin
Turning Basin by mindfrieze, photo by mindfrieze

Editor’s note: this isn’t the first time that Michigan in Pictures has featured multiple photos – more in the Sunday Study section. These also aren’t the first photos from outside of Michigan’s borders to appear on Michigan in Pictures – at least one is the Christmas Ship at the dock in Chicago.

One Response to “Where does Michigan begin?”


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