City Analysis: Ann Arbor, Michigan

Part
01
of three
Part
01

Ann Arbor: Overview

Ann Arbor has a population of 121,890 people. The population of the city between 18 and 35 years is 65,351 people.

Ann Arbor, North Carolina — Population

  • Ann Arbor currently has a population of 121,890 people.
  • The population of Ann Arbor between 18 and 35 years is 65,351 people.

City Elections

  • Analysis of the city's site reveals that no city-wide elections will be coming up in 2020.
  • The city held its latest election for all concerned positions on November 4, 2019.

Neighborhoods

1. Downtown
  • Downtown is rated as the headquarters of small business, culture, and local events in town. It is though to be suitable for families, shoppers, socialites, students, and anyone with interest in spending time outside.
  • Some attractions in the neighborhood are the “University of Michigan, Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, University of Michigan Museum of Art, Michigan Theater, and Nickel’s Arcade.”
  • According to Gpsmycity.com, “Downtown Ann Arbor is an ideal place to visit for some retail therapy. Other things found in the Downtown area are eco-friendly home furnishings, toys, funky jewelry pieces made by skilled artisans, folk art, garden items, vintage and upscale clothing for men and women and cosmetics.”
  • The average household income level for people between the ages of 25 and 44 in Downtown is $68,490, which is above the national average.
2. West Park
  • The neighborhood of West Park is rated as the third-best neighborhood in Ann Arbor by Rein Hart.
  • West Park offers "acres of greenery, family fun, and some of the most beautiful oak trees in town. The park also offers a historic archway entry and a bandshell for fair weather concerts, which puts residents at the heart of the local, outdoor music scene."
  • Some major attractions to the neighborhood include West Park, Ann Arbor Civic Theatre, Ann Arbor School of Yoga.
  • The average household income for people between the ages of 25 and 44 is $72,611.

City ID Card

An extensive search through the city's official site shows that it has no official city ID card program.

Questions to City Leaders

  • What are your plans towards creating an official means of identification for the town of Ann Arbor?
  • What are your plans for attracting more creative workers to the city?

Research Strategy

According to our research, there are details about a high concentration of creative workers or young families with spending power regarding the neighborhoods in the city of Ann Arbor. To identify popular neighborhoods in the city, we identified a compiled list of the best neighborhoods in the city published by Rein Hart and Clever. This source provided us with a list of the best neighborhoods in the city of Ann Arbor with their different attributes. Further search through the public domain yielded no results about neighborhoods in the city with a high concentration of creative workers or young families with spending power. We have provided the details of our findings of the city's best neighborhoods in our research brief. Also, a thorough search through the city's official website and other reliable news sources from the city has revealed that Ann Arbor has no upcoming elections in 2020 and also City ID card.
To obtain the population of Ann Arbor between the ages of 18 and 35, we have performed the below calculations.

Triangulation

  • Total population of Ann Arbor city = 121,890 people.
  • Ann Arbor's population, (18 – 24) years = 31.5%; 31.5% of 121,890 = 38,395 people.
  • Ann Arbor's population, (25 – 34) years = 16.7%; 16.7% of 121,890 = 20,356 people.
  • Ann Arbor's population, 35 years = 3,400 males + 3,200 females = 6,600 people.
  • Total population of Ann Arbor between 18 and 35 years = 38,395 + 20,356 + 6,600 = 65,351 people.
Part
02
of three
Part
02

Ann Arbor: Business Community

SPARK and SCORE are two initiatives for promoting small businesses in the city of Ann Arbor, MI. Some local merchant associations include Ypsilanti Regional Chamber, New Enterprise Forum, and the West Washtenaw Business Association.

Overview

  • Known for its "world-class institutes of higher learning, cultural amenities, bustling downtown, and high-tech research opportunities," Ann Arbor has become a regular beneficiary of national accolades for "being one of the best places to live and work in the US."
  • Top business magazines have rated the city's business community as the startup hub to monitor for many opportunities. In 2019, the city was rated top innovative city by USAToday, while Bloomberg "recently listed the city as a top #3 tech hub for their brainpower index, given Ann Arbor is the best-educated city in the US."
  • Many companies and business platforms in the city are exploding in sectors such as automotive and mobility, life sciences and healthcare, technology, and security. For instance, Ann Arbor’s Tech Trek has become a center of visitation for many tech companies that are also hiring.
  • The business community in Ann Arbor has become an attraction for startups and emerging sectors. More so, the situation of world-class academic institutions in the city provides incentives to companies seeking to recruit fresh talents into their folds.

Initiatives to Promote Small Businesses

  • Ann Arbor SPARK is a non-profit initiative to promote entrepreneurship and a dynamic business ecosystem geared towards economic development for the region. The mission of the organization is to help "advance the economy of the Ann Arbor region by establishing it as a desired place for innovation, business location and growth, and for talented people to live and work." Ann Arbor SPARK is over 10 years old.
  • Ann Arbor SCORE is an initiative founded in 2000, and it comprises people with vast experience in business management. These people are volunteers who share their experience and expertise "to help potential and existing small business owners achieve success. " The primary aim of this initiative is to see small businesses thrive.

Names and Links to Local Merchant Associations

Major Partnerships

  • Ford entered a pilot collaboration with the city of Ann Arbor for the former's 'City Insights Platform.' This collaboration is a major partnership because it makes Ann Arbor "a living lab for city mobility," and the scheme is to penetrate other US cities too. The collaboration involved "the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority, the Downtown Development Authority, and Ann Arbor SPARK, as well as the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute."
  • The partnership entails the deployment of sophisticated software applications that will allow Ann Arbor to "explore and help solve a variety of mobility issues in dynamic ways not offered before." These issues cover the mobility areas of safety, parking, commutes, transit, livability, and micro-mobility. This partnership will help solve one of the biggest headaches of the city, which is the parking infrastructure.
  • Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan hold major partnerships in many areas, which include transportation, public safety and security, technology and innovation, campus-community coalition, sports, culture and tourism, and many others.
  • The major partnership in transportation is the M-Ride Program under the supervision of the transportation authority of the city — AAATA. With this partnership, staff and students of the university have free access to AAATA fixed-route bus service, while the institution pays for this service annually.
  • In culture and tourism, the city and the university are "founding partners of the Ann Arbor Summer Festival (AASF), a world-class celebration of arts and entertainment." This partnership seeks to enrich the "cultural, economic and social vitality of the Ann Arbor region." The event, which features indoor and outdoor activities, lasts for three weeks and takes place within the proximity of the university campus.

The Lowest Request For Proposals (RFP)

  • The lowest RFP amount the city of Ann Arbor publishes is $25,000. According to the procurement website of the company, this amount or greater amount is "advertised at least ten (10) days before the opening of the solicitation." This provision is not stated for bids between $3,000-$24,999 or bids less than $3,000, which involves the use of procurement cards.

The Question in The Subject Area

  • How does the city plan to provide a fair and competitive platform for small businesses against established enterprises in her bidding process?

Research Strategy

To capture an overview of the business community in the city of Ann Arbor and provide answers to the research criteria, we explored many platforms such as the city's websites, affiliates and partners' websites like the University of Michigan, local merchant associations' websites like NEF, tech news' websites like Cronicle, and many more. After a detailed study across these platforms, we provided the above findings (with descriptions where requested) and left no questions unanswered.

We formulated our question in the subject area of the bidding process on the city's procurement website.
Part
03
of three
Part
03

Ann Arbor: Issues and Challenges

Traffic congestion and transportation issues and affordability issue are the key challenges being tackled by leaders in the U.S. city of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Further discussion of the identified challenges is presented in the following section.

1. Traffic and Transportation Issues

Description

  • Ann Abor, as a growing city, is facing challenges related to transportation, poor street conditions, and traffic snarl-ups. Drivers in the city have to deal with congested roadways every single day.
  • According to a report on Michigan's transportation system, 55% of Ann Arbor's major roads are in poor conditions. Additionally, 17% of the bridges in the city are structurally deficient.
  • The poor state of transport in the city causes drivers to lose about 29 hours per year in traffic congestion.
  • The congested rough roads cost an average Ann Arbor motorist close to $642 every year in the form of increased fuel consumption, additional repair costs, tear and wear, and accelerated vehicle depreciation.

Importance to Community

  • There is the need to make sure that individuals have options to live near where they work or study, and residents and commuters can conveniently move in and out of the community in a way that's efficient and satisfactory.
  • Tackling transportation is also essential to the community as a step towards eliminating transport-related barriers to having improved quality of life and access to basic services.

What is Being Done

  • The city's administration has plans underway to develop an $87 million train station and a $55 million urban trail known as the Treeline.
  • A team from the Ford Motor Company, City of Ann Arbor, and affiliates from the Michigan Department of Transportation in 2017 proposed the Ann Arbor Integrated Mobility System (AAIMS), a scalable state-of-the-art connected vehicle and mobility transportation initiative that expands upon the existing Ann Arbor environment. The system aims to improve mobility, increase safety, and manage congestion in the city of Ann Arbor.
  • Students, citizens, and visitors to the city stand to benefit from the elaborate plan that also "lays the groundwork for the real-world, extensive deployment of highly automated and autonomous vehicles."

Stakeholders Involved

  • Stakeholders involved in tackling the traffic and transportation issues in Ann Abor include the City Council members, city administrators, advisors to the city administration, Michigan State Department of Transportation, the University of Michigan, city residents, and business leaders.

2. Affordability Problem

Description

  • According to the findings by the Washtenaw County's Office of Community and Economic Development (OCED), most people in the middle class cannot afford to live in Ann Arbor.
  • The challenge for most government officials is being able to strike a balance between the need for affordable housing and maintaining the character of the city (as preferred by some people).
  • In 2019, students and residents assembled to match in efforts to create awareness on affordable housing in the city. Several social activist groups also participated in the match.
  • Washtenaw General Defense Committee reports that about 80,000 people who commute to Ann Arbor have no access to affordable housing.
  • Also, rents are skyrocketing in the city with up to 15.9% year-over-year increase.
  • Reports indicate that Ann Arbor needs to put up 140 new units of affordable housing annually until 2035 or risk economic stratification.

Importance to Community

What Is Being Done

Stakeholders Involved

  • Stakeholders include Ann Arbor City Council, Washtenaw County, community members, non-profits, social activist groups, students, business leaders.

A Question to Leaders

  • What are the reasons for the slow pace of the implementation of the 20-year plan (2015-2035) for affordable housing in Ann Arbor?
Sources
Sources

From Part 02
Quotes
  • "advance the economy of the Ann Arbor region by establishing it as a desired place for innovation, business location and growth, and for talented people to live and work."
Quotes
  • "to help potential and existing small business owners achieve success. "
Quotes
  • "a living lab for city mobility"
  • "explore and help solve a variety of mobility issues in a dynamic way not offered before."
  • "the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority, the Downtown Development Authority, and Ann Arbor SPARK, as well as the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute"
Quotes
  • "founding partners of the Ann Arbor Summer Festival (AASF), a world-class celebration of arts and entertainment."
  • "cultural, economic and social vitality of the Ann Arbor region."
Quotes
  • "advertised at least ten (10) days prior to the opening of the solicitation."
Quotes
  • "recently listed the city as a top #3 tech hub for their brainpower index, given Ann Arbor is the best educated city in the US"
Quotes
  • "being one of the best places to live and work in the United States."
  • "world-class institutes of higher learning, cultural amenities, bustling downtown, and high-tech research ​opportunities"