Wednesday, September 25, 2013

No, Ann Arbor is not "A Small College Town," but a "Medium-Sized Midwestern City with a Large Public University"

The Ann Arbor News posted the following statement by the newest member of the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority:
Ann Arbor is not a metropolis. Ann Arbor is not a small Midwestern college town. There is no model for Ann Arbor because it is truly unique in our country.
I'll accept that statement. But apparently, one person felt that this statement was wrong on the facts, writing:
But Ann Arbor is a small college town. Whats wrong with that? Sorry, Ann Arbor, this may not make you feel special. It's a great city, a fantastic place to live, and a wonderful place to raise a family.. Why can't that be enough?
Sorry, but this is nonsensical on the facts. Do you know what IS a "small college town" that is also nearby (so you can go and make a comparison)? Albion. Albion is a (relatively) small town with a small college (which it actually calls a college and is actually a college) in it.

In contrast, Ann Arbor has a population of ~115,000. That's not a "town" in any definition, save for a comparative one against places like NYC, London, and Tokyo. We have a larger population than that of Lansing, which most of us (I'd imagine) would consider to be a "city."

Furthermore, the University of Michigan is not a college; it's a university (it's right there in the name). It is also among the largest universities in the US. Furthermore, the student population of the University of Michigan is ~43,000, which is almost eleven times larger than the nearby village (aka town) of Dexter (~4,000) and roughly double the resident population of the City of Ypsilanti (~19,000).

If this person had stated, "Ann Arbor is a medium-sized Midwestern city that houses one of the largest public universities in the country," then I'd agree with the entirety of your comment (because I do agree with the rest of what you state). Of course, *that* statement wouldn't have held as much rhetorical clout as the non-factual statement they chose to write (which I'm guessing is why they wrote what they did).

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