UNITED STATES—What makes a city vibrant? Is it the geographic makeup, is it the people, is it the businesses, is it the economy, safety, work opportunities? There is a lot in play people, but I’m seriously tackling this issue as a native Detroiter, where all the talk of town right now is the anniversary of the 1967 riots that literally destroyed the city of Detroit as we know it.

Let me be clear this is not a column that is going to go into a deep analysis about the riots of 1967. I plan to save that column for next week to coincide with the release of the film “Detroit” directed by Oscar-winner Kathryn Bigelow. Understand, I’m a millennial and even that notion disturbs me at times because I really don’t consider myself a millennial, but because I fall into that age group it is what it is.

When I think of Detroit, of course the first thing that pops into my mind is the auto industry. This was the city where the auto industry boomed, and it boomed massively people. What some people may not know is that the first auto plant wasn’t actually in Detroit, but the city of Highland Park, where Henry Ford completely changed the dynamics of the workplace environment. In the early 1900s and then entering into the 1950s, Detroit was a booming city; it was predominantly white, but more minorities including African-Americans were moving into the region.

However, the 1960s changed everything for the city of Detroit and for more than 50 plus years, the city has still been dealing with the consequences of the events that transpired in 1967. Some have called the events in July 1967 as riots, some as an uprising, whatever you decide to call it, it resulted in the destruction of a metropolis, a city. Not only were tons of businesses and homes destroyed as a result, it led to the displacement of many people, which ultimately changed the cultural and racial dynamics of the city of Detroit.

White flight became prevalent, where those who lived in Detroit, sold their homes and moved to the suburbs. What was the result of that chaos? Property values declined, jobs were loss, crime rose and businesses fled the region. Growing up in the 1980s, I recall seeing things in downtown Detroit, but the desolate environment surrounding the heart of the city was in disarray and continues to look like that today. The city hit rock bottom in 2008 when the housing crisis delivered another punch to the city and the fact that it filed bankruptcy in 2013 did not help the situation either America.

A city with so much promise, diversity and opportunity was literally crumbling in front of my eyes. It’s now 2017, and the city is seeing resurgence, but unfortunately that is not enough in my opinion. The heart of the city is seeing a boost in business, property value and some jobs, but the regions outside of the heart of the city still have not yet seen development. Those buildings destroyed during 1967 are still standing, still vacant and still festering blight in the city.

I always tell people the most important thing about developing any city is not just focusing on the heart of the city, you have to focus on the regions outside of the city as well. Those outer layers that are close to the heart, but aren’t exactly the core matters. Fixing up homes, eliminating blight, increasing police patrols, decreasing crime and most important of all: bringing jobs back to the region will help boost the economy. It’s no secret that crime is sometimes a direct result of one’s inability to land a job, the ability to provide for the family or a too much idle time. If you’re working you don’t have the opportunity to sit around and rummage about how you can get into trouble.

Detroit is a city that gets a bad rep around the nation, but most of those people with those preconceived notions of what they ‘think’ Detroit is have NO IDEA! Why can I make this assessment? They have never been to the city. Before you make a judgment, learn the history, talk to the people and actually pay a visit to that place. You might be surprised to learn that the city of Detroit has much more to offer than what people think they know.