Tag Archives: Michigan

Detroit Works Bike-Share Into a Car-Centric City

​One month after launching, Detroit’s new bike-share system is exceeding expectations and has residents and policymakers excited about its future. MoGo isn’t going to be the silver bullet that fixes all of the city’s transportation access problems — what bike-share is? — but the groundwork has been laid for it to be an important piece of the mobility puzzle in this sprawling, 139-square-mile city. Read more... Read more

Creating a Planning Department that “Starts With Yes”

When Mayor Mike Duggan recruited Maurice Cox from New Orleans two years ago to become Detroit’s new urban planner, the city planning department had six employees and was seen as a pass-through for developers. These days, Cox is focused on demolishing barriers in Detroit’s Planning and Development Department. And he’s pursuing a redevelopment strategy in the city’s neighborhoods that reimagines vast tracts of vacant land where homes once stood. Read more... Read more

Detroit Neighborhood Turns to Morocco for Arts Hub Inspiration

​In Detroit’s North End, an inclusive cultural hub is being planned to reactivate the area and celebrate its changing demographics. An underused 12-unit, mixed-use building and the grassy lot will one day be the American Riad courtyard, modeled after the traditional Moroccan home style. Beyond a community arts center, the renovation plans include six affordable housing rentals and commercial space for businesses that serve the needs of the North End, and all plains aim to preserve the North End’s history... Read more

Detroit’s DIY Cure for Urban Blight

​ Land banks are the Swiss Army knives of urban reclamation efforts, wielding an array of powers to make abandoned, tax-foreclosed properties useful again. They demolish unwanted houses, sell houses to new owners who’ll fix them up, sell vacant lots, and assemble land for future development. They’re an alternative to unloading tax-foreclosed land in highest-bidder auctions, which often attract irresponsible speculation. Recovering from bankruptcy, Detroit created the country’s largest land bank to transform a surplus of abandoned properties into livable,... Read more

Work Begins on Massive Detroit Mural by 92-Year-Old Artist

​ In Detroit, work began on a massive mural designed by 92-year-old legend Charles McGee. Titled “Unity,” it will cover a 118-by-50-foot space on the side of the 28 Grand at 28 Grand River Avenue, which will be a building of micro-apartments, about 260 square feet, with units set aside as affordable rentals. Once finished, the mural will be a sweeping vision in black and white of various abstract shapes and elements that might not appear cohesive at first glance.... Read more

Combining Crowdfunding And Place-Making To Help Communities Improve Themselves

Before moving forward on a revitalization project, Midtown Detroit Inc. faced the usual civic project hurdles: Did people in the area actually even want this? Would they actually use and care for it? And, equally important, was there any grant money available to offset the costs? To find out, MDI turned to Patronicity, a Detroit-based online fundraising platform that’s pioneering a new form of crowdfunding dubbed “crowdgranting.” Read more... Read more

Design Lansing: A Plan for the Future

​Design Lansing uses smart growth principles in its comprehensive plan that represents a new direction for the city, blending the strengths of the community with time-tested development patterns and new thinking. These concepts help improve sustainability, livability, and quality of life, including placemaking, green infrastructure, green development, and complete streets. Read more... Read more

Housing Market Revival is Key to Detroit’s Economic Recovery

A healthy housing market builds current residents’ wealth, attracts new residents, stabilizes neighborhoods, and generates revenue for local government. Although Detroit’s housing market has been plagued by weak demand, an oversupply of aging and dilapidated housing stock, and a lack of sufficient income and access to capital for potential homebuyers, emerging trends and innovative practices are moving the city toward greater economic recovery. Read more... Read more
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