Detroit's Design Excellence Meets Equity

Monday, May 8, 2017 | 2:45 p.m. - 4 p.m.
CM | 1.25
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You'll learn about:

  • The different types of redevelopment efforts that an emerging city must undertake to increase population and achieve a measured and inclusive / equitable development strategy

  • The unique challenges and opportunities in balancing equity and design excellence in variety of urban settings from  1) Waterfront / New City development 2) Downtown- Adjacent Development and 3) Neighborhood development / Land stewardship

The City of Detroit is redefining redevelopment with the goal of ensuring all residents and businesses have equal access to -- and a voice in -- a city of international design excellence.  

Participants will discuss ways the Planning and Development Department uses Priority Planning areas for redevelopment of a city whose skyline includes buildings by 30 of the world's most renowned architects; and how the department restructured a single planning team into three interdisciplinary design teams comprised of Planners, Architects, Urban Designers, Landscape Architects and Historic Preservationists -- all dedicated to the twin charges of enhancing and strengthening existing neighborhoods that have survived a half-century of population loss and economic upheaval, while also taking advantage of the city's underutilized assets, from land to historic structures.

Three very different neighborhood case studies will explore how to rekindle urban redevelopment emphasizing both equity and high-quality design:

"East Riverfront" panelists will explore how the city attracted internationally known design teams to a competition to redesign its riverfront with Canada, launching a process of ongoing community engagement around preservation, recreation, economic development and affordability.  

"Brush Park" panelists will discuss how the city is revitalizing an underpopulated downtown neighborhood with award-winning modern, mid-density residential development that fits within the context of some of Detroit’s most beautiful historic homes, and addresses head-on the challenges of affodability and gentrification.

"Livernois/McNichols" panelists will discuss neighborhood revitalization efforts including a housing rehab development, a new greenway connecting two major academic campuses through the neighborhood, and a unique strategy for vacant lots that features a new park and opportunities for economic development including urban agriculture, forestry, nurseries and other productive landscape types. The focus is on bringing a more urban character to a neighborhood and corridor, developed midcentury around the automobile, through greater walkability, bikeability and civic amenities.



Mark Wallace , Detroit RiverFront Conservancy , Detroit , MI (see bio)
Alexa Bush , Detroit , MI (see bio)
Karen Gage , City of Detroit , Detroit , MI
Douglas Voight
Maurice Cox , City of Detroit , Detroit , MI