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DETROIT'S MAYOR BING AT A COMMUNITY EVENT.
COURTESY VOICE OF DETROIT
Following several months of negative press and setbacks for the Detroit Works Project—Mayor DaveBing’s urban design initiative to reshape the city—Bing held a press conference on July 27 to announcea series of short-term interventions. The city will launch initiatives in three demonstration areas—neighborhoods ranging from 1,400 to 3,000 acres—and will release a new analysis on the progress insix months.Since it launched last September, the Detroit Works Project (DWP) seemed to stall several times. InDecember, it was unclear whether the project wouldre-sign noted planner Toni Griffin to head theinitiative, and the confusion over who was running the project dragged on for several months. In July, the
Wall Street Journal
reported on tension between DWP and its funder, The Kresge Foundation. Kresge isa $3.1 billion national philanthropic foundation headquartered in Troy, a suburb of Detroit. The articledramatized the situation as a “tug of war” between the Bing administration and Kresge over disagreements concerning outside consultants (While Griffin serves as an outside consultant, her contract was renewed in April.)Bing’s announcement is the first sign that the project is back on track, which includes goals of neighborhood stabilization, improved public transit, and economic development.The mayor defined each of the three demonstration areas as a mix of transitional, distressed, andsteady neighborhoods that the city had studied in order to realign resources. The city reached thedefinitions of the three so-called “market-types” by asking local and national experts to review conditionsof housing stock, vacant land and homes, median sale price of homes, subsidized rental stock,
SIZING UP A SMALLER DETROIT
Mayor Bing announces progress on plan to shrink city.