New sustainability study says U.P. village making comeback

CALUMET — A new study by Michigan Tech shows that Calumet could be poised for a comeback. ABC 10’s Rick Allen has the details.

No doubt Calumet has a long storied history but what of its future? In a study recently published in Sustainability researchers at Michigan Tech took a comprehensive look at the current state of the village and particularly the art district.
The study is called “Boom, Bust and Beyond—Arts and Sustainability in Calumet”.

“The history of mining communities almost everywhere,” said Winkler, “has been of this boom and bust kind of cycle and we’ve certainly seen that in Calumet and across the Copper Country and in communities around the world. What we wanted to do with this paper and this study is to think about, ‘Okay, so what happens after that bust? Where do communities go from there?'”
Working with Main Street Calumet and local business owner Lorri Oikarinen a team of Michigan Tech students began gathering data in 2013.

They found several benefits that the art district brought to the community, including job creation and drawing people into Calumet. But for long–term sustainability more needs to be done.

Winkler explained, “From my perspective, I would be surprised if it ever provides enough. I think this would be something that needs to be balanced with other kinds of community and economic development opportunities, but it’s something that can help and provide a piece of the pie and make Calumet an attractive place.”

After decades of population loss the study found the tide may finally be turning. “My impression is that it is beyond the bust, in that the population has really stabilized, and there are a lot of people working in the community on a lot of really pretty exciting initiatives,” concluded Winkler.

A link to the study can be found here.