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City of Detroit approves $1.6 million for neighborhood planning

Map of neighborhoods targeted for funding

The city of Detroit is making good on its promise to expand development into neighborhoods with the recent commitment of $1.6 million in planning-related funding for four sections of the city.

Contracts have been approved for planning work in the neighborhoods of
Southwest Detroit/West Vernor Corridor, Northwest Detroit/Grand River Corridor, Islandview/Greater Villages, and Rosa Parks/Clairmount. This falls in line with Mayor Mike Duggan's push for "20 minute neighborhoods," where residents have amenities and resources within 20 minutes of walking or biking.
 
Sarida Scott-Montgomery, executive director of the Community Development Advocates of Detroit (CDAD), looks forward to what this can mean for the highlighted neighborhoods. "CDAD welcomes the city's plan to invest in neighborhoods. All Detroiters deserve healthy and vibrant neighborhoods that support a good quality of life," Scott-Montgomery says. "We also look forward to working with the City and the selected vendors to ensure that robust community engagement processes occur with the projects. CDAD should be viewed as a resource on this effort."
 
One of the areas targeted for planning is the Northwest Detroit/Grand River Corridor. Located in the northwest side of Detroit, the Grand River Corridor is also geographically close to Livernois and 6 Mile, another area of focus for the city. The Fitzgerald Revitalization Project is a separate city-backed initiative nearby. While developers for the Fitzgerald Revitalization Project still have not been announced, additional attention to neighborhoods in the northwest section of the city bring a connectivity to the area that could be similar to that seen downtown and Midtown.
 
"I appreciate the city's expressed commitment to community engagement through the development processes in these neighborhoods. I'm hoping the engagement strategies result in long standing relationships between the residents of the impacted communities, the partners doing the development work and city government," says Lauren Hood, director of the Live6 Alliance. She says that although trust and relationship building will be a slow at the beginning of the planning process, it will be worth it.

"Creating authentic connections now will ensure productive and robust resident participation as those neighborhoods move into the master planning stage. The city has a tremendous opportunity to redefine what inclusive neighborhood redevelopment can look like."
 
More information about the city's plans can be found here.

Read more articles by Terryn Hall.

Terryn Hall is a Detroit Revitalization Fellow and writer whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Root, and others. You can follow her on twitter @terryngrams.
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