Bedrock, Detroit’s largest real estate company, will partner with the World Economic Forum to establish a new global Centre for Urban Transformation, which will seek to increase public-private collaboration in cities and advance more inclusive and sustainable models for urban development, the WEF announced.
The Centre will launch in October with a series of events and announcements, showcasing innovative models of urban transportation from around the globe. It will base its operations throughout Bedrock’s downtown Detroit portfolio, with future intentions to join the developer’s plans for the Gratiot Site, which will be located at the heart of an Innovation District designed to drive economic transformation.
“Around the globe, cities are facing unprecedented challenges from COVID-19 to climate change, exposing deep systemic inequities,” says Jeff Merritt, head of urban transformation at the WEF.
“As we chart a course toward a more sustainable and equitable future, government cannot carry this burden alone; increased public-private cooperation is essential. Detroit is uniquely positioned to serve as the epicenter for this work — a hub for urban transformation and innovation that the world can look to for guidance and inspiration.”
The WEF will leverage its global network of companies, governments, civil society organizations, and academic institutions to support cities as they seek to rebuild their economies and create more resilient communities. This will include mobilizing the global business community to commit expertise and resources in support of these goals and exploring new approaches to expand urban services and economic opportunity in low-income and traditionally marginalized communities.
“Bedrock is excited to bring the World Economic Forum and its global platform to Detroit,” says Kofi Bonner, CEO of Bedrock. “This partnership provides an opportunity to showcase Detroit’s extraordinary growth and positions Michigan’s largest city and international border as a global hub for best-in-class thinking on developing a next-generation, inclusive urban economy.”
Since its founding in 2011, Bedrock and its affiliates have invested and committed more than $5.6 billion to acquiring and developing more than 100 properties in Detroit and Cleveland, including landmark developments at the Hudson’s Site, the Book Tower restoration, and City Modern in Detroit, and the May Co. Building in Cleveland.