Community Development Advocates of Detroit Releases Statement on Future of the City of Detroit

Community Development Advocates of Detroit (CDAD), Detroit’s trade association of community development organizations, has released a statement outlining eight essential principles for the revitalization of Detroit and its neighborhoods

DETROIT, Aug. 7, 2009 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ – Community Development Advocates of Detroit (CDAD), Detroit’s trade association of community development organizations, has released a statement outlining eight essential principles for the revitalization of Detroit and its neighborhoods. The eight-point statement is a product of the on-going work of CDAD’s Community Development Futures Task Force, and a precursor to the full written report expected in December 2009.

The Community Development Futures Task Force is a unique, multi-sector collaborative representing community development organizations, government, educational institutions, funding institutions, businesses and city-wide and regional nonprofit organizations. The “Futures” Task Force has been meeting monthly since February 2009 in order to develop a set of recommendations for reinventing Detroit — including strategies for neighborhood revitalization, right-sizing Detroit’s neighborhoods, and a system to support the work of community development organizations engaged in these efforts.

The following eight principles communicate CDAD’s principles:

  1. Detroit’s revitalization requires a bold, new vision — a vision that acknowledges the challenges created by decades of population and job loss, while embracing the possibilities of a more economically viable and environmentally sustainable future.
  2. Detroit’s revitalization requires a vision for the entire city — a vision that includes a vibrant downtown and urban core, stable and livable neighborhoods, as well as a strategy for re-purposing thousands of acres of vacant land and buildings.
  3. Detroit’s revitalization must include a long-term plan that guides both short-term and long-term resource allocations.  While it may take many years to truly reinvent Detroit, we can no longer afford to waste time and money on failing strategies.
  4. We must stabilize and reinforce Detroit neighborhoods that already have quality housing stock, dense populations, and market appeal, and work to make these areas more competitive in the regional housing market. These communities should be enhanced to improve the quality of life for residents through:  a) local-serving retail and service businesses, b) better transportation options – from mass transit to improved walkability, c) housing variety — including permanent affordable housing options, and d) improved city services.
  5. Vacant land and very-low density areas should be repurposed in ways that enhance the quality of life for city residents, create jobs, improve the environment and lay the groundwork for future redevelopment.  New uses could include open space, recreation, greenways, urban agriculture, alternative energy production or temporary land banking. Residents of low-density areas should be provided incentives to relocate into denser, more stable neighborhoods. However, Detroit has enough vacant land that reuse strategies could begin with little or no displacement of residents.
  6. Implementing Detroit’s bold new vision will require unprecedented collaboration among residents, government, business, anchor institutions, philanthropic organizations, and non-profit organizations including community development organizations.
  7. Community development organizations, which are neighborhood-specific — along with city-wide non-profits — can make important contributions to implementing Detroit’s new vision and should be included in strategy development.
  8. Community development organizations play an especially vital role in Detroit neighborhoods, including:
    • Community organizing to resolve local problems, prevent crime and build cohesion among residents and businesses
    • Serving as a bridge between government and private market forces
    • Vacant land management and reuse
    • Local housing and commercial development

Community Development Advocates of Detroit (CDAD) is a nonprofit organization created in 1997, and serves as the citywide collaborative of over 60 community development organizations (CDOs) and supporters who share a common commitment to community-based sustainable development in Detroit’s neighborhoods.

For more information about CDAD call 313.964.2888 or visit

Anita Lane
313.964.2888, ext. 202

Source: Community Development Advocate

CONTACT: Anita Lane, CDA, +1-313-964-2888 ext. 202, +1-313-447-9083

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