Sunday, October 23, 2011

Livonia 2021

Livonia 2021
Imagine this Livonia 10 years from now…

Friends and neighbors are gathering in Livonia Town Center Square, nestled on the southeast corner of 5 mile and Farmington for a concert event on the solar powered GE outdoor stage celebrating the 50th year of live performing for Steve King and The Dittilies.

Many of the concertgoers will be coming from the new restaurants and merchant shops that ring the town center. Others will have hitched a ride on the electric and hydrogen fuel busses that are such a common sight around the designated “greenest city” in Wayne County. Still others have walked from the reduced foot print, elevator parking structure that now stands where the dilapidated school administration building once stood. Some have chosen simply to ride their bicycles, utilizing the city-wide bike trail system that began with the first trail along Hubbard road between 5 & 6 mile the very first year King was elected to city council. You may remember it was the same year the city launched its “I Lost Ten” health initiative, challenging Livonia residents to shed a combined 1 million pounds in one year’s time – an effort that brought first lady Michelle Obama to our city and put Livonia in the national spotlight.

The many artisans that are in attendance for the concert have walked from the lofts where they live above their shops on the East side of Town Center Square. It is this corridor of the square that was built expressly for the many talented artists in the region, and has been growing steadily as more craftsmen migrate to the city because of its thriving art culture. Their presence has been an economic boon for the city, in fact, the recent annual Town Center art show just experienced record attendance, bringing more than 50 thousand attendees to the Square over the weekend. Merchants and artists alike are happy and proud to be a part of Livonia’s revitalization that has resulted from the creation of this central gathering place several years ago. They welcome the many visitors from surrounding communities and work hard to promote the ongoing happenings in the Square.

In the center of the Square, scores of soccer players are relaxing with their families. In town from all over the State, they are between games playing in the Annual Livonia tournament being held at the indoor soccer fields at the sportsplex at 7 mile and Middlebelt. They have come for refreshments and the athletes are relaxing on the edge of the fountain that forms the Square’s focal point. They turn towards the upward stream of water welcoming the very light mist of water on their flush smiling faces.

Because all of Livonia has free citywide high speed wi-fi some Livonians will stay home and watch the fun being streamed to their own iPad 7 ( the model with 3D holographic display ) or on an iPad that is available from the library on loan to everybody with a library card.

As usual, many seasoned citizens are in the audience for they comprise the majority of the fan base for the still popular band. One long time female fan is heard to comment “We no longer call ourselves groupies, were droopies.” All around share a good laugh and spirits run high.

These folks are representative of the Livonia senior community at large, which is thrilled with their new home at the very expansive, refurbished Dickinson Senior center on Newberg road. Now they start their day walking the mall across the street before heading over to the center for lunch. Some of the food items they will be eating are harvested from the on site green house that is managed for a profit, by the garden clubs and local foodies that lease plots year round. The seniors, even larger in numbers now living in the city, overwhelmingly approved of the land swap that helped make Town Center Square spring to life.

And new life is exactly what Town Center Square has brought to a once stagnant Livonia that was caught resting on its laurels, suffering from “analysis paralysis”- lots of talk, no action- that afflicts so many municipalities.

Because of the changes brought about by the focus on community that town center planners were careful to cultivate, new young families have moved to the city in record numbers. So many in fact the new Bill Gates, Science and Technology school built at the former Bryant School site on Six Mile Road has a long waiting list to attend. It is just one of the new LEED ( leader in energy efficient design) certified buildings that are sited throughout the city. It actually sells power back to the grid, along with tens of thousands of homes covered with thin solar panels manufactured right here in Livonia at the old GM plant on Schoolcraft Road. The installation and servicing of the panels on residential rooftops was all financed by Google, with a lease structure similar to how we used to pay for our old land lines. There was no up front cost to the homeowners, and Livonia companies install and service the panels along with Livonia Public Schools Career Center students, as part of an internship program.

The crowd is really getting into the band now and it’s hard to believe that King can still hit those notes. He needs to be careful-- his band is performing next week at the PRDA “Cars are the Stars” cruise on Plymouth road taking place all next week. It is the only sanctioned car cruise in the State, and Wednesday night is cars from the 70’s only. You can already smell the burning rubber.

Steve King


  1. At the Chamber candidate forum a question was asked about Livonia ten years from now.With my blog post I have given more detail to my vision. If elected this is the City I will be creating. We can have a revitalized, vibrant community in 2021 or it can be a city just ten years older.

  2. How many businesses and taxpayers would you drive away by imposing all of the taxes, rules, regulations, and restrictions necessary to achieve this utopian vision of yours?

    1. AJ I have never suggested increased taxes or regulations, nor do I support that.
      The Town Square I envision would be an economic boon. The city council will be giving a report from their field trip to the community in Ohio that did what I am suggesting, so stay tuned. Some of the council are on board with my vision.