Improving Detroit’s Public Spaces Focus of Weeklong Workshops


A weeklong event that includes workshops, discussions, and activities on how to make Detroit a more livable city in which residents can better enjoy public spaces will be held in various locations across the city and region from June 22-26.

"The immersion week is about strengthening existing alliances and building new ones that will help to build a shared vision and sense of urgency to support a healthier, happier, and more vibrant city," says Gil Penalosa, founder and chair of 8 80 Cities, an international non-profit organization that is coordinating the event.

Activities will include a walking tour of the city’s east side, lectures and panels on how to create an inclusive city and revitalize Detroit’s parks, and a workshop on strengthening the city’s neighborhoods.

Speakers include Jason Hall, co-founder of Slow Roll Detroit; Todd Scott, a member of the Detroit Greenways Coalition; Miguel Pope of the Mt. Elliott Business and Community Association; and Ryan Myers-Johnson, curator and founder of the Sidewalk Festival of Performing Arts, among others.

"The community development work Penalosa has done with his 8 80 Cities initiatives is exciting, progressive, and, most importantly, extremely effective,” says Joshua Elling, executive director of Jefferson East INC, the non-profit community development organization hosting the event. “Our goal is to come out the other side of this with as many actionable ideas as possible."

Panels and lectures will be held at such locations as Wayne State University, the Belle Isle Casino, the Grosse Pointe War Memorial, and Campus Martius Park.

To register for the free events, visit