Mayor Bing unveils Detroit Works Project on Wednesday

Published On: Jan 30 2013 03:35:05 PM EST
Updated On: Jan 09 2013 04:55:05 PM EST
DETROIT -

Mayor Dave Bing discussed the long-term planning for his Detroit Works Project on Wednesday.

The Detroit Works Project was introduced in 2010. The mayor says it was created to inspire city community groups, businesses and non-profits to get involved in making Detroit better.

Organizers called the project a city-wide framework for change and development in Detroit.

Read: Poor make do as Detroit struggles to stay afloat.

Members of the project say portions of the framework can begin immediately, while others will take time.

They laid out a map to re-envision and transform Detroit over the next 50 years with a 'Future City' concept for vacant land use.

The timeframe:

5 years to stabilize

5 – 10 years to improve

10 – 20 years to sustain

20 – 50 years to transform

Detroit Future City expressed ideas on how to best use the abundance of land (particularly publicly owned land), create job growth and economic prosperity, ensure vibrant neighborhoods, build an infrastructure that serves citizens at a reasonable cost, and maintain a high level of community engagement, according to the Detroit Works Project website.

The plan is an extensive blue print that highlights ways to improve transportation, civic engagement, and land use in the city.

The unveiling of the project comes after two years of research, hundreds of meetings, 30,000 conversations and more than 70,000 survey responses and comments from participants about the city, say project organizers.

"I witnessed the steady decline of a city with so much promise," said Bing.

The planning team will present a lengthy final report this week to further unveil plans for change in the city.

The project comes despite an audit of the city finances showing Detroit operating at a deficit of $327 million.

The plan calls for a "project management office" to be created to help support the agenda.

As part of the announcement, the W.K. Kellogg and Kresge Foundations committed a combined $3 million to support a substantial portion of the project management office operating costs for the first two years. 

In addition, The Kresge Foundation committed to align all of its grant-making in Detroit representing at least $150 million of investment over the next five years. 

"The full potential of this framework will only be realized with the collective efforts and resources of everyone – public, private, philanthropic, nonprofit – all pulling together," said Rip Rapson, president & CEO of The Kresge Foundation.  "We are excited today to announce our own commitment to help the momentum we need to be success, and we encourage all to become partners in creating Detroit Future City."