Detroit Future City Looks To Hire Detroiters, Stabilize Neighborhoods

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Detroit Future City, a dense collection of urban planning initiatives launched last year, introduced Thursday its priorities for 2014-2015, including prioritizing the employment of residents and the stabilization of neighborhoods.

The effort, established by former Mayor Dave Bing following more than two years of planning — and since adopted by Mayor Mike Duggan — for the first time offers a framework for urban planning goals across the city, including blight removal, job attraction, efficient transportation, green infrastructure, and residential density.

“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,” says Ken Cockrel Jr., executive director of the Detroit Future City Implementation Office. “The areas of focus we have selected are critical to the long-term viability of our city and must be addressed first.”

As part of its initiatives for this year, the program aims to employ more Detroiters by assessing the economic state of the city, supporting minority business development, working on small business policy reform, and encouraging entrepreneurship. The organization also plans to stabilize neighborhoods through blight elimination along with increased public safety and community-based place making.

In addition, the office will contribute to regulatory reform, revitalize infrastructure in relation to environmental stewardship, and transform vacant land into an innovative open space network.

“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,” say Rip Rapson, president and CEO of The Kresge Foundation, which is supporting the program. “The framework’s soaring ambitions … bolster not only a thriving Woodward Corridor, but green, healthy, active neighborhoods.”

Starting next month, the DFC Implementation Office will partner with community groups and other stakeholders to host open houses at its West Grand Boulevard headquarters along with offering meetings in each of the seven Detroit City Council Districts. A complete schedule for district meetings and open houses will soon be posted at DetroitFutureCity.com.

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