Detroit Future City

February 12, 2013 / Comments (0)

Civic News Uncategorized

There is a plan for Detroit. It is called Detroit Future City. Read more about it. Located in Eastern Market 2929 Russell Street. Website is The plan is for citizens in a community to come up with ideas of what they want their community to look like. Drafts that are developed are constantly updated. Everything is still being worked out. WHAT DO YOU WANT YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD TO LOOK LIKE IN THE FUTURE?

The Avenue of Fashion on Livernois is being revitalized. A project chosen by Detroit Works Partnership  Detroit Future City hotline toll free at 800-234-7184
You can see the blueprint of what Detroit will look like in the future. It is currently on display at different places throughout the City The Detroit Public Library Parkman Branch has the DFC Road Show on display and a reference copy of the DFC Framework. The Parkman Branch library is located at (313) 481-1810 1766 Oakman Blvd. Detroit, MI 48238
“Dan Kinkead, Design Principal with Hamilton Anderson Associates will be the Director; and Heidi Alcock, Chief Executive Officer with Michigan Community Resources will be the Senior Program Manager. Both were strong leaders throughout the planning process, and have extensive knowledge about how to translate the strategic framework into real progress. They both will officially begin on May 6, 2013.” Taken from  Detroit Economic Growth Corporation letter.

DFC City Systems Priority – Renew Systems Strategically and Innovatively

Detroit has a critical need to establish more long-lasting, cost-effective and innovative city systems, such as water, waste, energy, transportation and communications. Such infrastructure can improve quality of life for Detroiters by essential reinvestment and employment growth, encouraging thriving communities and improving environmental and health conditions.

After 60 years of disinvestment and depopulation in Detroit, we must consider system renewal thoughtfully and strategically to link infrastructures to current and future needs. By moving beyond traditional legacy infrastructures to improve systems delivery while reducing costs, we can develop the essential value proposition for residents and businesses to be in Detroit.

To accomplish these goals, the Detroit Future City (DFC) Implementation Office is working across three major lines of effort:

1. Strategic Infrastructure Renewal
The city can improve the service quality by upgrading and maintaining infrastructure in areas of higher density and demand while reducing excess system capacity in areas of lower demand.

•    Master Plan of Policies UpdateDFC’s update to the City’s Master Plan included guidance on how the City could be strategic in its infrastructure investment decisions.

•    Detroit 2.0 Human Capital Support :  DFC advised the White House team of municipal technology experts during their visit to Detroit.  DFC worked with Detroit’s new Chief Information Officer (CIO) to identify, recruit, and place a Deputy Director for Civic Community Engagement.  DFC continues to support the City in sourcing services for opening city data.  

2. Landscape as 21st Century Infrastructure
By investing in sustainable natural systems in the form of green and blue infrastructure as opposed to costly grey infrastructure, Detroit can mitigate stormwater runoff into the Great Lakes, improve air quality, reduce heat island effect, beautify neighborhoods and provide new amenities that improve the quality of life for Detroit residents.

•    Great Lakes Shoreline Cities Green Infrastructure Project will deploy green infrastructure to manage and retain stormwater in Detroit’s lower east side drainage district.

•    Dendro-remediation Pilot ProjectDendro-remediation is the process by which trees are planted to reduce and eliminate toxic substances in the soil over time. DFC has supported the Greening of Detroit by identifying sites for dendro-remediation implementation.

•    Carbon Buffer Pilot Project: Through the treatment of vacant land near sources of pollution, including expressways, “carbon buffers” absorb carbon dioxide, block particulate matter and mitigate other pollution stemming from vehicular traffic and industry. DFC is currently working with the Greening of Detroit and the Michigan Department of Transportation to finalize pilot locations for carbon buffer plantings in fall 2014.

•    Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) Performance Rate Reduction Pilot seeks to pilot the use of innovative blue infrastructure as a means of cleaning and managing stormwater, exploring the policy and fee structure changes needed to allow Detroit to become a healthier, greener city and a model for 21st century best practices in sustainable development and resiliency.

3. Diversified Transportation for Detroit and the Region
Detroit’s transportation system, from the road network to public transit, can be reconfigured to align with the emerging needs of the city and the region.

•    Tiered Transit Recommendations: DFC has advised City of Detroit policy makers on how to reconfigure transportation to improve service and reduce cost by establishing a tiered transit system with express bus service to micro-transit.

•    University of Michigan Social Impact Challenge: DFC was the University of Michigan’s Nonprofit Management Center 2014 partner organization for the Social Impact Challenge.  DFC created a challenge that focuses on developing strategic and tactical recommendations that increase connectivity and improve mobility for Detroiters in three high vacancy neighborhoods.  Over 15 multidisciplinary teams responded to the challenge, with the winner announced in spring 2014.

See the In the News section below for articles about the recent flood and how DFC’s blue and green infrastructure recommendations and initiatives could help minimize the negative impacts of future rain events. 

The Detroit News Focuses on Detroit Future City’s Efforts to Transform Detroit

Detroit Future City helps shape public, private visions into area’s transformation
September 4, 2014
By Laura Berman
Michelle Lutz working at the farm that is part of Recovery Park.Kenneth Cockrel Jr. has been a Detroit City Council member, council president and — for six months in 2013 — the city’s mayor. But for the last nine months, as the executive director at Detroit Future City, he’s seen Detroit anew. “It’s a view from the balcony,” he says.

As a city official, Cockrel recalls being busy solving crises, “so focused on the daily grind, putting out fires every day, that you don’t get a chance to think about how to prevent fires from starting.”

Now, the city’s future — and how to get there — is the only job for Cockrel and his co-workers at the concrete-floored, urban-rustic DFC implementation office on West Grand Boulevard.

How do you transform a city laden with 19th century infrastructure, 20 square miles of vacant land and a history of insolvency? How do you help public and private entities pick and choose the best ideas — and those likeliest to succeed — in the future? How do you even get them to ask you for help?

Read the full article here

Click the link to read a story about what Detroit could look like in 2033 and beyond 

The Detroit Future City (DFC) Implementation Office together with its community partners introduced its priorities for 2014-2015, unveiled a new brand and website, highlighted some of the 31 active projects their involved with and announced some activities to connect with the broader community.

DFC Executive Director Kenneth V. Cockrel, Jr. today was joined by members from the organization’s 32-member steering committee and 11 implementation team members who presented at their new implementation office to residents, faith-based leaders, advocacy groups, economic development gurus, philanthropic organizations and business owners. The DFC Implementation Office is located at 2990 W. Grand Blvd. 

“Working with our partners in the community over the last 10 months, we have been able to   identify five key priorities from the DFC Strategic Framework that the DFC Implementation Office will direct its energy toward in 2014 and 2015,” said Cockrel.  “The areas of focus we have selected are critical to the long-term viability of our city and must be addressed first.”

The DFC Implementation Office coordinates with stakeholders to inform decision-making, build capacity, and fulfill the objectives of the DFC Strategic Framework. Following a year of extensive research and collaboration after the release of the DFC Strategic Framework, the DFC Implementation Office set forth the following priorities and initiatives that are already in progress. 

The 2014-2015 DFC Priorities and Initiatives are:

Economic Growth Priority: Employ More Detroiters by 

·         Assessing the economic state of the city

·         Minority business development

·         Small business policy reform

·         Supporting entrepreneurship

Land Use Priority: Fulfill Regulatory Reform by

·         Supporting the update of the City’s Master Plan of Policies

·         Supporting the creation of employment districts

City Systems Priority: Renew Systems Strategically and Innovatively by

·         Offering guidance on strategic renewal programs for utilities

·         Supporting a review of capital budget practices by government

·         Transportation systems reform

·         Improving City of Detroit technological systems

Neighborhoods Priority: Stabilize Neighborhoods with

·         Blight elimination programs

·         Working with partners to increase public safety

·         Community-based placemaking

Land and Building Assets Priority: Transform Vacant Land into an Innovative Open Space Network by

·         Initiating an integrated open space plan

·         Creating green infrastructure programs

The DFC Implementation Office has 31 active projects in its portfolio of 50 that it is currently working on with partners from across Detroit.  Each project is working to fulfill each of the five priorities.

Cockrel highlighted some projects that were worked on in 2013 such as the Hardest Hit Fund and the Partial Deconstruction Project.  He also listed examples of projects the team will tend to in 2014 and 2015 to help fulfill each of the five priorities, they were:

·         Live-work Program: 1-96 Industrial Corridor,

·         Updating the Citywide Master Plan of Policies, 

·         Carbon Buffers,

·         Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, and

·          A Vacant Property Handbook

Cockrel went on to say that “civic engagement is an important component that is threaded throughout all of the work we do.”  He punctuated his statement by inviting a student from Denby High School to the podium to discuss how the DFC Strategic Framework has been incorporated into their curriculum.     

Before talking about the priorities and projects, Cockrel introduced the team along with the steering committee.  He listed the DFC Implementation Office’s many achievements during its 10 short months since being formed, and also revealed the organization’s new logo, website, and marketing materials.

To help people connect with the Detroit Future City, Cockrel announced the DFC Implementation Office is going to partner with community groups and other stakeholders over the next several months.

During Thursday’s event, well-respected local leaders expressed their support for DFC, including Deputy Mayor Ike McKinnon, Rip Rapson, president and CEO of The Kresge Foundation and Detroit Economic Growth Corporation president and CEO George W. Jackson, Jr., who also serves as chair of the DFC Implementation Office steering committee.

“We have seen many plans come and go in this city because they fall short when it comes to execution, but Detroit Future City has staying power,” said Jackson.  “DFC will be making an impact on our city for a long time because the strategic framework’s innovative yet pragmatic concepts have been embraced and there is a talented Implementation Office that has quickly proven its an invaluable resource for businesses, non-profits, residents and government agencies.  Detroit Future City is the starting point for advancing the transformation of Detroit.”

“In just a year’s time, we’ve seen the ideas embodied in the Detroit Future City Framework move from the aspirational to the achievable,” said Rapson, who last year pledged to align the foundation’s spending in Detroit with Detroit Future City, a pledge of $150 million over five years. “The framework’s soaring ambitions — created through the input of thousands of residents — are being embodied in concrete projects across the city, projects that bolster not only a thriving Woodward Corridor, but green, healthy, active neighborhoods throughout.”

Connect with the DFC Implementation Office by visiting 2990 W. Grand Blvd., Suite 2 Detroit, MI 48202, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.  E-mail or call 313-259-4407.  For ongoing updates, visit, subscribe to the e-newsletter, or engage with through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pintrest or YouTube.


Eliminating Blight in Detroit’s Neighborhoods 

Blight removal is one of the most important steps towards improving quality of life in Detroit and it touches on almost every recommendation in the DFC Strategic Framework.  When well-managed, transforming blight can include the creation of functional open space to stabilize neighborhoods, improve city systems, and provide economic development opportunities.

The Detroit Future City (DFC) Implementation Office is helping tackle blight by informing decision makers, executing research-driven pilot projects to determine best practices, and conducting extensive civic engagement.

Through our Partial Deconstruction Project in the Springwells neighborhood, we were able to measure the how the partial deconstruction and demolition of 10 blighted structures can create jobs and to what extent these practices release dust, lead and other heavy metals into the air and soil.  These practices, and several other recommendations from the DFC Strategic Framework, were referenced in a recent draft update to the Master Plan of Policies by the DFC Implementation Office, and provided to the City of Detroit.  They were also noted in the recently released Blight Removal Taskforce report.

Additionally, the DFC Implementation Office held a Blight Bootcamp on Saturday, June 7th to equip the community with the tools and resources to take blight removal into their own hands. And in March we collaborated with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to convene a group of local stakeholders and organize a day-long workshop on demolition best practices.

Here is more information about the DFC projects referenced above:

Here are some of the DFC Implementation Office’s partner organizations’ blight removal efforts:

DFC’s 2014 Blight Bootcamp

Detroit Future City hosted a Blight Bootcamp on Saturday, June 7, attracting more than 200 people. The day-long event had 12 sessions on blight elimination including transforming blight into urban gardens, youth engagement in blight mitigation and data driven decision making. During the day, keynote speakers, Linda Smith, co-chairperson of the Blight Removal Task Force and Charlie Beckham, executive director of the Detroit Department of Neighborhoods gave an overview on how their organizations are taking action to eradicate blight in the city.

This event would be impossible without our community partners. Click here for a full list of these organizations.

DFC Partners with Challenge Detroit for Blight Challenge

Challenge Detroit, a leadership and professional development program, partnered with DFC Implementation Office for their final challenge of the year. The fellows were charged to find solutions for blight elimination in Detroit looking through the lens of the DFC Strategic Framework. Five teams worked in neighborhoods across the city and partnered with community organizations to develop blight elimination ideas ranging from summer youth to community engagement strategies. To conclude this last challenge, the fellows presented an infographic of their presentations on DFC Implementation Office’s front windows. This challenge gave the fellows an opportunity to provide on-the-ground solutions that will be instrumental in enriching the work of the city of Detroit and the Blight Removal Task Force’s blight removal efforts in all Detroit neighborhoods.

DFC in the News

The Detroit News: Detroit has the building blocks to re-emerge

Washington Times: Project Brings 15K Trees to Distressed Detroit

MI Big Show: Ken Cockrel, Detroit Future City at Mackinaw Policy Conference

For daily updates on Detroit Future City and news regarding DFC’s priorities like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

DFC Partners with College for Creative Studies program
community+public arts: DETROIT (CPAD), a program of the College for Creative Studies, is partnering with the Detroit Future City Implementation Office and The Greening of Detroit to work with artists and four Detroit communities to transform vacant and underused spaces into New Urban Places.
Learn more about upcoming events and news related to DFC here
Arise Detroit’s Neighborhood Day
More than 100 community service and improvement projects will take place in every part of the city. From neighborhood clean ups, health fairs, parades, youth events, concerts and more– all designed to transform neighborhoods.

To register, visit: or 313-921-1955.

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2990 W. Grand Blvd.
Detroit, MI 48202

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