My hometown is Niles Michigan. It is located in the Southwest corner of Michigan. Most neighborhoods are automobile neighborhoods, as most people commute into the city or to nearby cities such as South Bend. The population of Niles was 11,200 as of the 2010 census. There is an Amtrak train line that runs through Niles and goes to major cities, Detroit and Chicago. Not many people use this train line as almost everyone has an automobile that they can take to Detroit or Chicago. These train lines would be more convenient if Niles was closer to either of those two cities as people could then commute to work in Chicago or Detroit. I moved 10 miles from South Bend, Indiana to Niles, Michigan three years ago and therefore do not have much of an attachment to it. It still feels like I live in South Bend as I spend most of my time their and there is more to do.
My first city is Rochester, New York. The picture of the neighborhood that they show reminded me a lot of the neighborhood that I live in. It is also an automobile neighborhood, which does not have sidewalks just like my neighborhood. However Rochester is a lot bigger city than Niles. The picture of Rochester shown has a neighborhood that is towards the outer edge of the city. This is why the neighborhood looks as it does, as you would need a car to commute the city. My hometown of Niles is not very big and that’s why almost all the neighborhoods are automobile neighborhoods. Most people have to commute to nearby bigger cities. Niles could become more sustainable if neighborhoods closer to downtown Niles had sidewalks that people could use to go to nearby convenience stores. Also, car-pooling could provide a way for those who have to use automobiles to commute to the city.
My second city is Detroit, Michigan. Detroit may not be very similar to Niles in many ways as it has a bus system that allows people throughout the city to not have to need cars. What caught my eye about Detroit was the way that the city has taken initiative and developed urban farming. There are many farms around Niles, as this area is known for their farming. However, there is not much farming throughout the city. Detroit has implemented urban farming that would help Niles become more sustainable. Many people do have gardens and there is a farmers market near the city but Niles could emphasize the development of urban farming and become more sustainable. The city is never very populated and any abandoned areas could be used to implement urban farming. This would allow Niles to take advantage of every part of the city and not leave spaces unoccupied or unused.