Systems Planning

Economic Vitality

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Economic Vitality​ Goal 

Develop a prosperous, resilient local economy that provides opportunity by creating jobs, retaining and attracting talent, supporting a diversity of businesses across all sectors, and rewarding investment in our community

How are we doing?

Need new text. [Over 3,100 new residential units have been constructed in Ann Arbor since 2010. Ann Arbor was home to over 120,000 jobs in 2010, and that figure is expected to grow to 145,000 jobs by 2040.]​

What are the indicators?

​Gross Domestic Product (GDP)


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A gini index represents the difference between those who have the highest income and those with the lowest income in an area. The number is presented on a 0 to 1 scale, with 0 representing no income inequality and 1 representing very high income inequality. Ann Arbor currently falls somewhere in the middle with a .46 gini index, slightly higher than both Michigan and the entire United States.     

Source: Civic Dashboards Gini Index                  

​ ​ ​​​​Gini index.PNG

Value of Construction Permits                        

In 2013, building permits in Ann Arbor valued over ten billion dollars. The value of construction permits issued reflects the construction activity in the community and is an economic indicator of potential growth. Ann Arbor’s building permits have bounced back from a low in 2009, but declined slightly from 2012 to 2013. ​​​

Source: City of Ann Arbor Permits



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​What way cool projects are underway?​​​

Redevelopment Ready Communities

  • ​The Redevelopment Ready Communities Program is a state-wide certification effort led by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) that supports communities in their efforts to be competitive in today's economy.  Ann Arbor was one of eight communities selected by the MEDC in 2103 to receive a no-cost, comprehensive assessment and a report with recommended strategies for enhancing the city's economic vitality. The Community Assessment Evaluation Findings Report (pdf) was completed in October of 2014, and city staff is reviewing the report's recommendations.

Economic Development Collaborative Task Force

  • ​In May 2013, City Council created the Economic Development Collaborative Task Force and invited the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority and Ann Arbor SPARK to be its partners. The Task Force was given a six-month period within which it would examine its member entities' respective core values, priorities and activities regarding economic development and identify resources including funding and opportunities for collaboration. View the task force's final report (pdf).

Brownfield Redevelopment Program

  • ​The brownfield redevelopment program provides financial incentives to redevelop brownfield sites, which have barriers to redevelopment because of existing or potential contamination on the property. To date, the Washtenaw County Brownfield Program has supported redevelopment on 1079 acres of property. Completed and active projects represent 350 million dollars of new investment, and the creation/retention of over 4,000 jobs.

Zoning Ordinance Reorganization (ZORO) Project

  • ​The goal of the ZORO project is to present the existing contents of the 11 development-related chapters of the City Code in a more coherent, consistent, concise, and user-friendly manner. These chapters should be comprehensive, clear, usable by seasoned professionals and the general public, enforceable and legally defensible, and adaptable. 

Downtown Street Framework Plan

  • ​The City of Ann Arbor and Downtown Development Authority (DDA) are collaborating to develop a Downtown Street Framework Plan to comprehensively plan for streets and sidewalks within the DDA district. The goal of the plan is to balance the needs of all street users, with a particular focus on pedestrians and how streets can be used as public space.

Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti SmartZone

  • ​​The Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti SmartZone (LDFA) was established in 2001 and serves as a business incubator and accelerator. LDFA provides capital needed for the facilitation of the commercialization of research products being developed at University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University and the development of private high technology ​enterprises. The SmartZone covers the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) district in the City of Ann Arbor and a portion of a DDA district in Ypsilanti. ​



Where are we now?
​ ​
​Poor​Not Assessed
Where are we going?​ ​
​Getting Better​Stable
​Getting Worse​Unknown