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Power List

Powering the Mitten: How does electricity get to your smartphone?

You plug in your smartphone and voila -- it's charged up and ready to whisk you off to cyberspace. But how exactly do those electrons get into your phone? Read on to find out.

Local Food List

Detroit restaurants and farmers are working together to expand options for locavores

As Detroit restaurants become more dedicated to sourcing locally and Detroit farmers work harder to meet demand, the locavore's dining options are expanding.

fellows list

After two-year fellowship, dedication to improving the city keeps three fellows in Detroit

Three members of the Detroit Revitalization Fellows inaugural cohort are committed to continuing their work to improve the city well beyond their fellowship term.

Facade list

Businesses put best face forward with help of local façade improvement programs

A building's visual order can have an inordinate impact on a community, which is why a number of area community development organizations have used façade improvement programs to battle blight and spur neighborhood economic development.

Land Forum List

Opinion: It's time to demystify the process of acquiring land in the city of Detroit

To help inform Detroiters looking to acquire vacant land, The Greening of Detroit, Michigan Community Resources, and the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights have collaborated in developing a series of workshops called "Land Forum."


Fellowship helps Detroiters find their way home

They say you can't go home again, but three Detroit Revitalization Fellows have used their fellowship to get back to Michigan and do meaningful work in the city.


Detroit SOUP to celebrate fifth anniversary with party and fundraiser at Ford Field

Since 2010, Detroit SOUP has hosted 90 dinners and awarded over $85,000 to Detroiters with ideas to improve their communities. On Feb. 15, SOUP celebrates its fifth anniversary with a party and fundraiser at Ford Field.

power lines list

How 'smart' is Michigan's electrical grid?

You may have a smart meter on your house, but what's so "smart" about it? We explore Michigan's foray into the "smart grid" and how it affects you.

Pashon Murray

Discuss social entrepreneurship in Detroit at Jan. 19 Open City event

Engage with a panel of social entrepreneurs working in Detroit on Monday, Jan. 19 at "Be the Change," the first Open City event of 2015.

Curtis List

Nicole Curtis, host of HGTV's Rehab Addict, invests again in Detroit for new season

The sixth season of Rehab Addict premieres Jan. 8 and will feature Nicole Curtis's latest Detroit project, a house on East Grand Boulevard near Belle Isle on the city's east side.


Powering the Mitten: Report warns of looming electricity capacity shortfall

Michigan may be facing electric generation capacity shortfalls as soon as 2016, according to a new report. What does that mean for the state and how can it be avoided?

John's Carpet House List

Five things to look forward to in 2015

Last year was a big one for the city of Detroit. Looking forward to 2015, here are five things we're excited about.

Detroit Innovation List

Video: Looking back on three years of Detroit innovation

For the past three years, our partners at Urban Innovation Exchange have been following hundreds of small projects making a big impact in Detroit. In this video, Detroit Lives! captures the essence of that work.

abick's list

Abick's Bar, a neighborhood institution for more than a century

Detroit's oldest continuously family-operated bar is mourning the loss of its matriarch, Manya Soviak, but a new generation of the family is leading the neighborhood institution into its second century of existence.

Philly residents and police working together

Police-community partnerships offer way to improve neighborhood safety

Dozens of communities across the U.S. have formed effective, ongoing partnerships with the police departments that have improved safety and trust between residents and officers.


Powering the Mitten: What mix of fuel will power Michigan's future?

Electricity in Michigan comes mostly from coal and nuclear power, but that's set to change in the next decade. DTE Energy's Nick Khouri talks about how the utility is planning for the change.

Deconstruction List

As they wait for contracts, local organizations prepare workers for deconstruction jobs

While demolition will make up the lion's share of the city's blight elimination efforts, Mayor Duggan and the Detroit Blight Authority are pushing to ensure that deconstruction also plays a role. Area training centers hope to prepare students for careers in both demolition and deconstruction.

schools list

How local real estate developers are giving new life to some of Detroit's shuttered schools

Some Detroit developers are finding opportunity -- and potential profits -- in the adaptive reuse of shuttered schools.

Fellows List

The Detroit hustle: When love for the city goes beyond the 9-to-5

Plenty of people work to better Detroit at their day jobs, but some don't call it quits at 5 p.m. A pair of Detroit Revitalization Fellows finds fulfillment both at work and while moonlighting as a distillery owner and a hip hop artist respectively.


Lighting up Detroit: Holiday displays, new infrastructure projects illuminating the city

As Detroit emerges from the darkness of bankruptcy, we say "let there light!" this holiday season. Here's a backstage tour of lighting in Detroit, from schools to streetlights to the Christmas tree at Campus Martius.

Dimitri List

'More than just a place for a party,' Berliner Dimitri Hegemann sees Detroit as place for new ideas

"I see the club as more than just a place for a party. I want the music to stimulate discussion and new ideas," says Hegemann, who was recently in Detroit to discuss the potential of bringing new cultural spaces to the city.

Pryors List

Detroit's first family of the arts: Dell and Sharon Pryor

Tulani Rose and the Dell Pryor Gallery are anchors of the corner of Willis Street and Cass Avenue in Midtown. These institutions are the creations of the mother-daughter team of Dell and Sharon Pryor, Detroit's first family of the arts.

Story Club South Side in Chicago

The art of ordinary life: Why storytelling nights are suddenly everywhere

In our hyperconnected, digital age, people hunger for real stories. In Cleveland and across the country, storytelling nights are growing thanks to the popularity of The Moth, This American Life, and other programs that elevate life into art.

Avenue of Fashion List

On the Avenue of Fashion, small businesses are driving the revival of a neighborhood retail district

A historic neighborhood business district is re-emerging thanks to the dedication and energy of new business owners.


Fractured Water: Can metro Detroit reconnect its watersheds?

In metro Detroit, our waterways do not function as a whole. A new series delves into why that is and what we can do about it. 

City Bird List

Model D's guide to shopping local this holiday season

Thanks to this handy guide, you have no excuse not to do all of your holiday shopping in Detroit this year.

Noel List

Stop by Model D House during Noel Night on Dec. 6

On Saturday, Dec. 6, Midtown Detroit will be humming with activitiy during the 42nd annual Noel Night holiday celebration. Be sure to stop by Model D House (4470 Second Ave.) for snacks and music.

Bookstore List

Holiday season brings good tidings of new Detroit bookstores

Booklovers in Detroit are about to get three new shops where they can scratch their literary itch: Silva Rerum, Pages on Livernois, and Bookspace Detroit.

Pingree List

Detroit Public Library unveils remarkable digital collections

Now you can explore some of the greatest treasures of the Detroit Public Library from the comforts of home thanks to a digitization project that was years in the making.

Literary Tour List

A literary tour of Detroit

Detroit may be best known for cars and music, but the Motor City has a rich literary history that's worthy of exploration. From Broadside Press to Pulitzer Prize-winning authors to U.S. Poet Laureates, Detroit has produced an extraordinary body of work.

Deconstruction List

Can deconstruction of vacant homes help grow Detroit's economy? Some local businesses hope so

Detroit has 40,000 vacant homes on the path to demolition. Can they be transformed from liabilities into assets through deconstruction? Local businesses' demand for reclaimed materials suggests they can.


Powering the Mitten: Manufacturing, electricity and Michigan's future

Michigan's manufacturing economy is on the rebound just as its energy future is in flux. How can the Mitten state maintain a strong manufacturing base while transitioning to cleaner energy?


Berliner Dimitri Hegemann to discuss plans for Fisher Body 21 at community talk on Nov. 29

Hegemann, a Berlin entrepreneur who has played an important role during over two decades of revitalization and reinvention in that city, will be back in Detroit on Nov. 29 to talk about how strategies from Berlin can be used to catalyze growth in Detroit's creative economy.

NEIdeas List

NEIdeas $10K People's Choice awards to be announced at Dec. 11 Detroit SOUP event

After awarding 30 existing businesses in Detroit, Hamtramck, and Highland Park $10K each for their ideas for growth, the NEIdeas challenge is back with a People's Choice round of voting.

Solar List

Powering the Mitten: What's next for our renewable energy future?

Michigan's Renewable Portfolio Standard sunsets in 2015, and legislators, utilities and advocates are getting ready to decide what's next for renewable energy in Michigan. Here's a look at some facts behind that debate.


Thirty established Detroit businesses win $10K each for their ideas for growth (VIDEO)

Last month, the New Economy Initiative did something unusual for a philanthropy: it granted money directly to small businesses in Detroit, Hamtramck, and Highland Park for their ideas for growth. In this video you'll hear their stories.

Shigeto in the studio List

Celebrated solo electronic artist Shigeto experiments with musical collaboration

Electronic musician and producer Shigeto has been making his music in isolation -- until now.

Music List

Why finding live music in Detroit is not as easy as it should be

Other cities have centralized resources that help visitors and locals find live music, so why can't Detroit?


Open City: Crowd Power! to explore the benefits of community investment in small business

Interested in harnessing the power of community investing for your small business in Detroit? Then Open City's Nov. 17 "Crowd Power" forum is for you.


How teens are helping program the city's premier contemporary art museum

The MOCAD Teen Council is a select group of young creatives from metro Detroit who come together with museum professionals to produce and plan programming for youth and adults. 

Tawnee McCluskey

Want to get people back to work? Fill the basic skills gap

Low-income workers often lack the basic skills needed to find a good job. To bridge the gap, experts says it's essential to invest in training. Yet despite millions of people out of work, programs are hard to find.

Corvino List

John Corvino, the 'Gay Moralist' of Detroit

John Corvino is a professor of philosophy at Wayne State University and a marriage equality advocate who's willing to debate the most vocal opponents of gay marriage publicly. 

Date Night List

It's date night! In search of the quintessential Detroit date spot

Ready to impress your boo with your knowledge of the coolest date spots in Detroit? We've got a few recommendations -- on and off the radar -- to get you started.

Passenger List

Passenger breathes art, new life into a long-vacant Detroit space

After years of vacancy and neglect, an old Capitol Park building where tobacco products were once manufactured is getting new life as Passenger, a nonprofit space for supporting the city’s art, creativity and entrepreneurial spirit.

Powering the mitten list

Powering the Mitten: As coal plants shut down, where will our electricity come from?

Michigan's aging coal-fired power plants are reaching the end of their life, and new regulations are accelerating timelines for their retirement. So how will Michiganders power their laptops, devices, homes, and businesses in the future?


Doing business differently: IdeaLab returns Nov. 14

Over the last five years, IdeaLab has showcased dozens of Detroiters on the vanguard of community and economic development, and this year's Nov. 14 event is no exception.

Marsha Music List

Original hipster: Marsha Music, cultural icon and griot of Detroit

Over the next few weeks, we'll check in with original hipsters who have helped make Detroit cool for the young upstarts claiming Detroit cred. Up first, Marsha Music, a local icon and a self-described "griot, storyteller, and talker."

Co-working List

Detroit's co-working spaces lure freelancers and startups with amenities and community

As different co-working spaces spring up and mature around Detroit, freelancers and startups are no longer relegated to coffee shops and home offices.

The Albert List

As a senior housing crisis develops in Detroit, advocates are offering solutions

The development boom happening in downtown and Midtown Detroit comes at a cost for some of the city's most vulnerable residents, senior citizens. Senior housing advocates, however, are exploring solutions to this crisis.


Fighting for community benefits in Delray through art and activism

Antonio Cosme is a budding community organizer and activist who's working to ensure that his southwest Detroit neighborhood benefits from the construction of a new international crossing.


Along Woodward, residents and business owners have mixed feelings about M-1 Rail construction

Photographer Nick Hagen and writer Matthew Lewis walked the length of the M-1 Rail streetcar route to find out how construction is affecting small businesses and residents.

Michigan Beer

The Detroit Fall Beer Festival and the future of craft beer in the city

On Friday, Oct. 25 and Saturday, Oct. 26, 75 breweries from around the state will be serving over 600 beers in Eastern Market at the 6th annual Detroit Fall Beer Festival. In advance of the festival, we talked to Scott Graham of the Michigan Brewers Guild about the future of Detroit's beer scene.

smart city list

What makes a city 'smart,' anyway?

In recent years, urban planners, cross-sector leaders, and city enthusiasts have trumpeted the rise of "smart cities." As that conversation gets louder, we can't help but ask: What exactly makes a city smart? Here are some thoughts in the wake of the recent Meeting of the Minds conference in Detroit.

improv list

Why Detroit's improv comedy scene is no joke

Detroit is not exactly NYC, Chicago, or L.A., but the local improv scene, which has produced national talents like Keegan-Michael Key, is thriving thanks to dedicated performers and theaters like Planet Ant and Go Comedy!.

Jewish Detroit list

Young, diverse, and full of moxie, Detroit's Jewish community is making a comeback

Not long ago, speaking about a resurgent Jewish community in Detroit would have had folks thinking you were a few candles short of a full menorah. Today, however, that community is growing thanks to an influx of young people and a few key institutions.


Why Michigan is a leader in place-based education

Dr. Doris Terry Williams, executive director of the Rural School and Community Trust, discusses the need for place-based education in both rural and urban environments and how Michigan's Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative is leading the charge.

Open City List

Open City kicks off 8th season of conversations about entrepreneurship in Detroit

Since 2007, Open City has served as a forum to discuss the opportunities and challenges of starting a business in Detroit. A new season kicks off at Cliff Bell's on Monday, October 20 at 6:00 p.m.

UIXDET video list

VIDEO: Hundreds find new ideas for their cities at inaugural Urban Innovation Exchange in Detroit

In September, innovators from around the country convened in Detroit to exchange their ideas for building better cities and stronger communities. For three days, Detroit was transformed into a marketplace for ideas for cities.


Dave Eggers talks education, robots, and illustrating a new book written by Detroit kids

Author and 826 National founder Dave Eggers is coming to Detroit next month. In advance of his visit, he answered a few of our questions about cities, urban education, and a new book written by students at Detroit's Boggs School.

Solo List

Amateur auto racers hit the track on Belle Isle

All kinds of people driving all kinds of motor vehicles -- from go karts to hoopties to high-end roadsters -- came out to Belle Isle to try their hand at racing.

Arts and Scraps List

One person's trash is another's art project: 25 years of Arts & Scraps

For 25 years, Arts & Scraps has been helping kids in Detroit transform tons of donated materials into art.

List Students at Neinas Elementary

Detroit kids become environmental citizens through place-based learning

Kids at Neinas Elementary in Southwest Detroit are shaping the future of their community well before they're old enough to vote thanks to place-based educational opportunities in their school.

Bamboo Detroit List

The Culture of Co-Working: A Model D Speaker Series event

Model D and Southeast Michigan Startup will host a panel discussion about the emerging culture of Detroit's co-working spaces on October 22, 2014.

List Youth brigade from Hamtramck Free School working on posters

There's a thin line between art and life at the Hamtramck Neighborhood Arts Festival

On Saturday, Oct. 11, the fifth annual Hamtramck Neighborhood Arts Festival pops up in galleries, storefronts, and lots across the 2.1-square-mile city and adjacent Detroit neighborhoods.

Knight Arts List

Winners of 2014 Knight Arts Challenge revealed

In its second year, the Knight Arts Challenge awards 58 winners a total of $2.48 million for their ideas for moving Detroit forward through the arts.


A group of local craft beer enthusiasts are brewing with Detroit-grown hops

Detroit's Black Bottom Brew Club makes beer according to a centuries-old German purity standard using hops grown right here in the city.


Place-based education motivates students by connecting learning to community

Michigan schools have an engagement crisis, but place-based education is one way of turning that around by making learning relevant to communities.

Tom Brennan List

A conversation with Tom Brennan, Detroit's green building guru

Last week, we explored Detroit's emerging green building culture. Here's an in-depth transcript of our conversation with Tom Brennan, co-founder of the Green Garage and a leader in Detroit's green building scene.

Motor City Mapping List

A brief introduction to Detroit's civic tech ecosystem

As Detroit finally enters the 21st century, here are our thoughts on how Detroit’s emerging tech ecosystem can produce more and better civic- and community- minded projects.


Your guide to fall colors in the city

Michigan is a superb place to watch the leaves change colors with the seasons -- that's a given. But you don't have to leave Detroit to experience the beauty of a Michigan autumn.

UIX List

Thirteen doable ideas for cities from first ever Urban Innovation Exchange

Last week, a group of innovators behind small scale, place-based projects around the country convened in Detroit and talked about what works in their cities.

Whole Foods List

The Whole Foods effect: How local food businesses are benefiting from a national grocery chain

A little more than a year after high-end national grocery chain Whole Foods landed in Detroit, local food companies are reaping the benefits.

Green Bldg List

A green building culture is emerging in Detroit

What do a small business incubator, a loft building, a homeless shelter, and a municipal building all have in common? They're all saving energy and money in Detroit thanks to green practices.

Beth Olem List

A peek inside Beth Olem, the cemetery that was swallowed by a GM plant

One of Michigan's oldest Jewish cemeteries is hidden on the grounds of GM's Detroit/Hamtramck Assembly Plant. It's only open six hours every year, so lucky for you, we took some pictures.

Berlin List

Detroit techno saved Berliners from boredom. Now it's time we take a few lessons from Berlin.

Walter Wasacz recently traveled to Berlin, where many hold Detroit and its music in high esteem. He brought back these reflections on what we can learn from our friends across the pond.

restaurant list

Three newcomers join Detroit Restaurant Week (with amazing pictures!)

It wasn’t that long ago that dining options in Detroit were limited at best, but a strong food scene is burgeoning in the city. As Detroit Restaurant Week kicks off, we preview the menus at three first-time restaurant week participants: Ottava Via, Craft Work, and Top of the Pontch.

UIX portraits list

Portraits of Detroit innovation

Our partners at Urban Innovation Exchange look back on the last three years they've spent documenting the growing movement of artists, makers, entrepreneurs, and innovators leading creative neighborhood transformation in Detroit.

Roosevelt Park

Can small ideas add up to big change for cities? 13 projects that prove they can (VIDEO)

Urban revitalization is not built on stadiums and skyscrapers alone. Vibrant cities begin with passionate people working on the ground, doing the creative heavy lifting to make their communities better. Leading up to Urban Innovation Exchange Sept. 24-26 in Detroit, we take a look at 13 small projects with big potential.


Detroit blogs you need to be reading

You read Model D, so thanks! We really appreciate you. But we acknowledge that there are lots of other sources for great writing about Detroit, so we put together this list of our favorite local blogs.

Encore List

'Encore entrepreneurs' add vibrance to Detroit's small business scene

Young hipsters aren't the only people starting businesses in Midtown and downtown Detroit. Meet some of the city's 'encore entrepreneurs.'

Passalacqua List

Detroit's Passalacqua mix hip hop with community

Passalacqua may be Detroit's hottest hip hop group, but that doesn't stop its members from remaining community-focused.

Shinola list

Shinola's workers, the new faces of Detroit manufacturing

Since Shinola opened shop in Detroit in 2013, the company has grown its output and its workforce. Those workers are creating quality goods and are changing the way we think about Detroit manufacturing.

Senior Market Days List

Older Detroiters get together, eat healthy thanks to Senior Market Days

Senior Market Days is a program that provides transportation to seniors so they can shop at local farmers markets. Not only does it help them eat heathier, it serves as a social event. 

Anna Clark List

Is this Detroit's literary moment? Anna Clark and Literary Detroit think so

Anna Clark, a local journalist and the editor of "A Detroit Anthology," is helping bolster literary culture in the city of Detroit. Read about her work with Literary Detroit, Write A House, and more in this profile from Urban Innovation Exchange.

Soulardarity List

Illuminating Highland Park, one solar streetlight at a time

Soulardarity is working to solve Highland Park's public lighting problem -- one solar streetlight at a time. By 2017, they hope to install 200 lights throughout the city.

Garlow List

Reflections on community, change, and commitment from a departing Detroiter

As Elizabeth Garlow,  former executive director of Michigan Corps and the founder of the Michigan Social Entrepreneurship Challenge, prepares to leave Detroit to attend graduate school on the East Coast, she reflects on the specialness of the city.

Sidewalk Festival for the Performing Arts

How the arts inspire change in Detroit

In Detroit, art isn’t just something to look at. The city’s rich artistic tradition has been an essential ingredient for cultivating community resilience, engagement and vitality.

Carpenter Exchange List

Not just a fancy art project: Artists create long-term community vision for Detroit/Hamtramck border

In 2009, Model D reported on the early work of Power House Productions in an article entitled "Detroit House: $100. Bold New Ideas for the City: Priceless." In five short years, those bold ideas are taking shape along the Detroit/Hamtramck border.

Medow List

Building civic capacity in Detroit: Inspiration from Zagreb

Mike Medow of Allied Media Projects travelled Europe as a Marshall Memorial Fellow. In Zagreb, Croatia, he was introduced to "small but smart projects" that both reflect and inspire his work in Detroit.

energy efficient list

A church and a gas station in Detroit reap the benefits of energy efficiency

A local church and gas station have at least one thing in common: they're saving lots of money after finding ways to become more energy efficient.


Energy efficiency: It's all about saving cash, cleaning up carbon, and creating local jobs

When it comes to energy, there is no cheaper source than the stuff we waste. Our "Powering the Mitten" series takes an in-depth look at how Michigan is faring on energy efficiency and where we might head in the future.


Small-scale, big deal: UIX invites urban innovators to exchange ideas in Detroit

Cities are reinventing themselves in creative new ways. Can small-scale projects have big impact? Join the Urban Innovation Exchange this Sept. 24-26 in Detroit to explore creative projects driving neighborhood transformation and trade ideas for the future.

Food Manufacturing List

Detroit's hottest exports (Hint: they're not just cars and watches)

Two growing manufacturing businesses in Detroit have nothing to do with cars or watches. In fact, they're making food products -- pickles and powdered milk -- and they're thriving.


Powering the Mitten: Where will Michigan's energy come from in 20 years?

This fall, legislators in Lansing will take up the question of how Michigan will get its energy in the future. Nina Ignaczak spoke to experts across the sector to find out what they think Michigan's energy landscape will look like in 20 years.

Jumping Ship List

Jumping ship: Why leaders are leaving corporate jobs for the social sector

Model D is hosting our next Speaker Series event on Thursday, August 21 at United Way for Southeastern Michigan in Detroit. Come meet leaders who left cushy corporate gigs to make a difference.

practice space list

A deeper approach to entrepreneurship is emerging from Detroit's Practice-Space

Since April, Model D has been following the progress of Practice-Space, a new place for developing business ideas in Detroit. Recently, the two businesses enrolled in its incubator entered the "Deepen" phase of the program.

Ryan Myers-Johnson List

Making performance art accessible: Ryan Myers-Johnson and Sidewalk Festival for the Performing Arts

Detroit's emerging experimental and alternative artists will showcase their work at the Sidewalk Festival of Performing Arts happening August 2 at Old Redford's Artist Village. Urban Innovation Exchange shares this profile of Ryan Myers-Johnson, the festival's founder.

Claire Nelson List

The glorious potential of cities; or, How eight square blocks can change the world

"The city is essential. The potential is glorious. And eight square blocks can change the world," writes Claire Nelson, director of Urban Innovation Exchange.

Year to date list

Model D's top stories of 2014 so far

2014 has been flying by so fast that we thought it would be worthwhile to take a look back on our most popular stories to date.

GRDC list

After 25 years, Grandmont Rosedale provides a template for community development

For a quarter century, Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation has worked towards its mission of preserving and improving the Grandmont Rosedale neighborhoods. Its efforts are bearing fruit.

Curtis Lipscomb List

Building a better future for Detroit's black LGBTQ community

Since 1994,  KICK! and its founder and executive director Curtis Lipscomb have filled a unique role in local LGBTQ advocacy efforts by focusing on the intersection of LGBTQ and African American identity.

Global Shapers list

Global Shapers re-shapes visitors' perceptions of Detroit

Many attending SHAPE North America 2014 came to the Detroit thinking about cars and bankruptcy. They left with a whole new respect and admiration for the city.

Action Sports List

Action sports in Detroit: A year after the X Games bid

“We were able to take over an abandoned lot and build a BMX park with the city skyline in the background. That kind of thing doesn’t happen in Chicago or L.A.” Just in case the folks from the X Games didn’t already know, it doesn’t happen in Austin, either.

Campus Martius at night - sm

How the rise of electricity transformed urban life in Detroit

The culture of innovation that sprang from a single lightbulb.

greening list

After 25 years of growth in the city, the Greening of Detroit comes of age

Over the last 25 years, the Greening of Detroit has planted 82,000 trees, helped hundreds of Detroiters develop career skills, and changed the way we think about sustainability in the city.


Summer weekends in the suburbs: A guide for Detroiters

Enough of this "I'm too cool for the suburbs" nonsense! We know there's plenty happening in the city this summer, but there's lots to do around the region, too. Our partners at Metromode have put together a few ideas for ways to spend weekends beyond Detroit's city limits.


Popps Packing: An old meat packing plant becomes a driving force in Hamtramck's creative community

When Graem Whyte and Faina Lerman bought a former Hamtramck meat packing plant in 2007, they didn't anticipate it becoming a catalyst for neighborhood growth and redevelopment.

FRoG List

Where industry and ecology collide: The future of the lower Rouge, Detroit's other riverfront

In Southwest Detroit, industry, ecology, and history collide where the Fort Street Bridge spans the lower Rouge River. The Fort Rouge Gateway Project is an effort to showcase this uniquely Detroit geography and bring people closer to Detroit's less-heralded riverfront.

Wondrich List

Dive bars, cocktails, and the soul of a city: A conversation with "mixographer" David Wondrich

Cocktail historian David Wondrich recently named Detroit "Bar City of the Year" in Esquire magazine. He sat down with Model D and talked about how Midwest cities are "much more alive than people in New York and San Francisco give them credit for" and why "bars without old people in them are boring."

Mellors-Blair list

Detroit City FC edges closer to first place, trails Lansing United by one point

As Detroit City FC heads into the final week of the regular season, Le Rouge are within striking distance of first place.

Healthy Detroit list

Healthy Detroit redefines the role of the park in Detroit neighborhoods

Nicholas Mukhtar and Healthy Detroit are working with communities to create "HealthParks," which combine typical park amenities with food systems, preventative care clinics, doctor screenings, and outdoor fitness systems. 


The state of social entrepreneurship in Detroit

Social entrepreneurship is on the rise in Detroit. Aaron Mondry brings us this story about three local social ventures making names for themselves and how the city and the state are making a splash on the national social entrepreneurship scene.

Chad Rochkind List

The prospect of "alter-urbanism": Chad Rochkind and Urban Social Assembly

Chad Rochkind leads Urban Social Assembly, an organization that works to empower entrepreneurs and social innovators in the city of Detroit. Danny Fenster of Urban Innovation Exchange has this profile.

Bruce Weber list

Bruce Weber, icon of fashion photography, captures Detroit in new exhibit

Since his first shoot in Detroit in 2006, Bruce Weber has been fascinated by our city and its people. An exhibit of his Detroit photos is currently on display at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Walter Wasacz has the story.

slowjams list

Video: An early morning visit to the wholesale market at Detroit's Eastern Market

Every weekday, Detroit's Eastern Market is buzzing with action while most of us are still sleeping. Cass Corridor Films got up early to follow Slow Jams, a producer of artisan jams, on a quest for locally grown herbs at the wholesale market.

AMP List

Allied Media Projects and the global relevance of Detroit's grassroots tech scene

On the eve of the 16th annual Allied Media Conference, Kat Hartman has this story about Allied Media's Digital Stewards project, which takes on nuanced issues affecting Detroit and develops tech solutions that are globally relevant.

Barbara Barefield List

Barbara Barefield: Dynamo of the Uptown arts scene

Since moving to Detroit in the 1970s, Barbara Barefield has been highly involved in the local arts scene -- from publishing an alternative weekly to putting on concerts in historic homes. MJ Galbraith  and our partners at Urban Innovation Exchange give us this profile.

Detroit Future Schools List

Detroit Future Schools program offers a new classroom paradigm

For the latest installment of our "City Kids" series, David Sands reports on Allied Media Projects' Detroit Future Schools program, which pairs artists with teachers to create a classroom environment where kids can take ownership of their education.

Bell List

Multiple generations of homeless Detroiters find stability in recently rehabbed Bell Building

A unique development in Detroit near Highland Park helps the chronically homeless gain independence and age gracefully on their own terms. Emell Derra Adolphus has this story, the first in our "Aging Together" series, a collaborative project of Model D, MLive Detroit, and WDET.

Soccer list

Top spots to watch the World Cup in Detroit

We've come up with a few spots where you can catch all the World Cup action over the next month, plus an idea for where matches ought to be screened.

GDI List

Not just a young man's game: Women in Detroit's growing tech scene

You don't have to watch HBO's "Silicon Valley" to know that the tech industry is dominated by men. But as Detroit's tech scene takes off, women are banding together to ensure that they are part of the conversation. Nina Misuraca Ignaczak has the story.

Baseball List

Model D TV: Rosedale-Grandmont Little League, a neighborhood institution since 1992

Since it was founded in 1992, the Rosedale-Grandmont Little League has been the summer pastime of that west side neighborhood. Three Lyons Creative brings us this video, a part of our "City Kids" series.

Jenny Lee List

Jenny Lee and Allied Media Projects empower Detroit's independent media makers

Jenny Lee is the executive director of Allied Media Projects, an organization that provides media and technology tools to support Detroiters who are working towards a more just, creative, collaborative city. Amanda Lewan of Urban Innovation Exchange has this profile.

Detroit Music List

It's time to capitalize on Detroit's status as a music capital

In the third and final installment of a series on the role local music can play in the economic development of Detroit, Keith Owens urges policy makers to put their political muscle behind arts and culture. He forsees big dividends in the future.


Detroit City FC promotes equality in sports with special jerseys, earns draw against Erie

Le Rouge, Detroit's minor league soccer team, sported special jerseys to promote LGBTQ equality in sports at their most recent home game against Erie. DCFC staff writer Jeremy Summitt has this game recap.


Bringing the party into the public sphere: The Detroit-Berlin Connection recapped

A weeklong learning experience based on the connection between the two capitals of electronic music -- Detroit and Berlin -- took place last week. For your reading pleasure, Walter Wasacz, a co-organizer of the Detroit-Berlin Connection, synthesizes some of the ideas generated during the event.

Mackinac(ish) List

Lessons learned from Mackinac(ish): Bringing it all back home

ASSEMBLE@Mackinac(ish) was more than just a reaction to the Mackinac Policy Conference or a party in the woods. Matthew Lewis has this reflection on his experience with the diverse group of Detroiters that got together Up North last week.


New businesses and new life directions for two entrepreneurs in Detroit's "Zone 8" neighborhood

A firefighter turned retailer and an ex-gang member turned author and bookstore owner are both starting businesses in Detroit's Zone 8 neighborhood. Aaron Mondry has the story. 

Pashon Murray List

Pashon Murray and the Detroit work ethic

Remember that Ford commercial everyone was talking about? Meet Pashon Murray, the urban innovator who starred in it. Murray runs a composting business called Detroit Dirt, which uses scraps from local restaurants and breweries in its compost heaps.

Playworks List

Video: Playworks teaches kids how to play the right way

Resource-strapped schools have trouble providing recess in a way that is fun for kids and suplements academics. Playworks, a national nonprofit, has partnered with several Detroit schools to provide recess for kids that is fun, educational, and inclusive.

Grand Hotel List

Fear and loathing at Mackinac, or How I learned to stop worrying and love the Policy Conference

Three-time Mackinac Policy Conference veteran John Notarianni gives us this reflection on the long, strange trip that was this year's conference.

Cinetopia List

The Regional Ambitions and Financial Realities of the Cinetopia Film Festival

Over the years there have been several attempts to create a truly regional film festival, one that bridges the gulf between Ann Arbor and Detroit. With 50 films screening in Tree Town and 40 in Motown, the third year of Cinetopia might just be the film festival "to bring them all and in the darkness bind them."

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Your guide to Cinetopia: Getting the most out of the festival experience

The Cinetopia International Film Festival is coming to Detroit and Ann Arbor June 4-7. Festival director Russ Collins shares his thoughts on how to get the most out of the festival experience.


Detroit City FC sells out stadium, wins third straight league match

Le Rouge continues its march through the NPSL, tallying its third straight victory with a 1-0 win over Lansing United in front of a sell-out crowd of 3,112.


Grown in Detroit, but not in the ground: The next evolution of urban agriculture

Some urban agriculture ventures in Detroit are moving beyond the city lot and into buildings. Read about a pair of ventures that are raising crops and fish indoors in the latest installment of our Food Economy series.

Main Street List

National Main Streets Conference brings 1,300 downtown professionals to Detroit

The National Main Streets Conference was in Detroit this week. Natalie Burg has this report on why downtown advocates from Metro Detroit and around the country were excited to participate.


Berlin, Detroit, and reinvention through "creative industries": A conversation with Dimitri Hegemann

Hegemann, a Berliner who is in town for a the Detroit-Berlin Connection, a conference coinciding with the Movement Festival, shares with Walter Wasacz his thoughts on how music and creative industries can spur economic growth in cities.


The Detroit-Berlin Connection: A Model D speaker series event

Walter Wasacz, a co-organizer of the Detroit-Berlin Connection, previews the one-day conference that hopes to forge a stronger bond between the two capitals of the electronic music world. The event kicks off Memorial Day/Movement weekend on Friday, May 23 at the MOCAD.


An insider's guide to Movement 2014

The Movement Electronic Music Festival returns on Memorial Day weekend. Here's a day-by-day guide to this year's festival by our resident electronic music expert and Movement veteran Walter Wasacz.

Intern List

Intern in Michigan program helps students stay in state and build skills

Since it launched in 2011, Intern in Michigan has matched 250,000 students with Michigan-based employers. Veronica Grandison has this story on how this free matchmaking service is helping keep talent in state.

City List

Le Rouge set new attendance record, win second straight match

Le Rouge of Detroit City FC are establishing themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the National Premier Soccer League. On Friday, DCFC set an attendance record and defeated a league rival 3-0.

DSC Carleton List

Announcing Detroit Sound Conservancy's inaugural conference

On Friday, May 23, the Detroit Sound Conservancy will host its inaugural conference at the Main Branch of the Detroit Public Library. DSC founder Carleton Gholz tells us what to expect.

LIST Tea Pluckers

From China, with love: Bringing tea culture to Detroit

From our China bureau, Marvin Shaouni reflects on his experience exploring China's tea culture with Detroit entrepreneur Joseph Uhl. He shares some beautiful photos, too.

580 list

Over the river and through your speakers: AM 580 plays Motor City favorites

From our Ontario bureau, Glen Morren has the backstory on CKWW, Motor City Favorites, an AM radio station that pumps out Detroit's hits of yesteryear at 580 KHz on the AM dial. 


One Detroit, one world: Re-imagining Detroit through diversity and inclusion

Raquel Castaneda-Lopez represents District 6 in Detroit City Council. She recently wrote this piece calling for a more inclusive and global Detroit for our partners at Urban Innovation Exchange.

Electronic Transmissions List

Electric transmissions: Why London loves Detroit techno

From our London bureau, ISKA Films and Cass Corridor Films show us why Londoners can't get enough Detroit techno.

piper carter list

'Hip hop is in everything, everything is hip hop': Piper Carter and the 5e Gallery

Our partners at Urban Innovation Exchange share this profile of Piper Carter, who is helping build a community around hip hop, sustainability, and DIY culture at Midtown's 5e Gallery.

Open City List

Breaking down city hall's bureaucracy at Open City's season finale

The 2013-2014 season of Open City concluded last week at Cliff Bell's, where a panel of city officials and a small business owner broke down the bureaucracy of city hall and discussed how to streamline licensing and permitting processes for Detroit businesses. Aaron Mondry has this recap.


Choosing to raise kids in Detroit: Why and how local families are doing it.

It's no secret that young professionals have gravitated to Detroit's urban center in recent years, but what happens when they start having kids? Nina Misuraca Ignaczak spoke with some families who have made the commitment to stay and raise their kids in the city.


Jim Boyle: It's time to celebrate and reward Detroit's existing businesses

Existing businesses in Detroit, Hamtramck, and Highland Park don't get the attention that startups do, but a new program is set to reward 32 existing businesses with $500,000 in prizes for their ideas for growth.

ASSEMBLE@Mackinac List

ASSEMBLE@Mackinac to bring new voices to the policy conversation

The people behind ASSEMBLE are hosting an event concurrent with the Mackinac Policy Conference with the goal of expanding access to Detroit policy discussions.

A big game of Jenga at Five Points Alley in Cincy

Urban alleys become pathways to revitalization

From Seattle to Washington D.C., forgotten alleys are being reinvented as people-friendly spaces. Often perceived as dirty and dangerous, alleys are moving beyond garbage and garages, and becoming havens for pedestrians, public art and small businesses.

recycling list

Michigan gets serious about keeping money and jobs out of the landfill through recycling

Michigan may be great at recycling beverage containers, but that's where the Mitten State's recycling fame ends. A new state-led effort is hoping to change that by making it easier to recycle and building local markets so we can keep money -- and jobs -- out of the landfill.

Belle Isle List

City Kids: Belle Isle kicks off a kid-friendly spring

For generations, Belle Island has been a fair weather destination for families with kids. This year, improvements to the island and expanded hours at a few of its institutions make it an even better spot for kids to play. Amy Kuras has the scoop.

Eastern Market Peaches List

Detroit's other industry: Food and Agriculture in the Motor City

Model D launches a new series that will explore a different aspect of Metro Detroit's food and agriculture economy each month -- from food entrepreneurs and farmers to the logistics of food distribution in the region.


Collaborative video project to document a day in the life of Detroit

On Saturday, April 26, Detroit's film and video community will embark on a collaborative project documenting a day in the life of the city. Will you join them?


Satori Shakoor and the power of telling true stories

Satori Shakoor is a performer who believes that true stories have the power to transform people. Dennis Archambault tells us how Shakoor's stories transform audiences every month at the Charles H. Wright Museum in Midtown.


A record lover's guide to Detroit

Record Store Day, a celebration of independent record stores, is happening Saturday, April 19. In preparation, record head Glen Morren tells us about a few of his favorite spots to buy vinyl in Detroit.


Rock the red tape: Navigating City Hall

On Monday, April 21, a panel will discuss the best ways for entrepreneurs to navigate bureaucracy in City Hall for Open City's final event of the season.


Farm stands and veggie vans bring Eastern Market to the people

Amy Kuras of Urban Innovation Exchange explains how Fiona Ruddy of Eastern Market Corp. is working on programs that expand fresh food sales beyond the market district.

Champions List

How Detroit became America's greatest sports city

Many have heard Detroit referred to as the "City of Champions," yet few know the history behind the nickname. Now a pair of Detroiters are working to revive Detroit's status as a capital of the sporting world.

Practice Space List

Detroit's newest space for growing business ideas

Aaron Mondry introduces a series about starting a business in Detroit through the lens of the city's newest incubator, Practice Space.

Batch List

Brewing beer and breathing life into Corktown's boxcar building

Batch Brewing Co., Detroit's first nanobrewery, has found a home in the former Porter Street Station, a quirky Corktown building with a boxcar attached to it.

Andrea Perkins List

Inclusive crowdfunding: Andrea Perkins and Benevolent

Amanda Lewan of Urban Innovation Exchange writes about how Andrea Perkins and Benevolent Detroit are connecting low-income Detroiters with resources through a unique crowdfunding platform.


Designing with Detroiters: DCDC turns 20

To celebrate Detroit Collaborative Design Center's 20th anniversary, Francis Grunow sat down with DCDC staff to discuss the Center's legacy of facilitating participatory design in the city.

Aaron Foley List

Opinion: What we really mean when we say 'The Neighborhoods'

Aaron Foley gives his opinion on why the oft-bandied term "The Neighborhoods" needs to go.

Detroit Books List

Onward! New narratives for an old town

Matthew Lewis, Model D's new managing editor, muses about the past, present, and future of the publication.


UIX: Jacob Corvidae and EcoWorks

Jacob Corvidae and EcoWorks are out to prove that green living is attainable for people up and down the socio-economic ladder, not just the affluent.


Open City recapped: "Starting Slow and Small"

What is a pop-up? The answer might seem obvious, but members of this month's panel came to an interesting conclusion: it is similar to beta testing software in that you can work out the bugs without the risk of a full launch. Aaron Mondry was there.

Ali Sandifer Studio

UIX: Abir Ali and Andre Sandifer, Ali Sandifer Studio

Meet Abir Ali and Andre Sandifer. They are the people behind Ali Sandifer Studio, a brand of modern furniture designed and built in Detroit.


Moving on, but not too far

This is Walter Wasacz's last issue as managing editor of Model D. He waxes sentimental about his predecessors, talks about what's next for him professionally and even declares the coming season "a summer of love."    

Amr - Upwardly Global List

Immigrants translate skills, find jobs in Michigan

Many immigrants and refugees in Southeast Michigan left professional careers behind when they left their native countries. Global Detroit tells us about Upwardly Global, a program that helps immigrants adapt professional skills learned abroad to the workplace in Metro Detroit.

State of Detroit Music List

State of Detroit music: Entrepreneurship in the arts

A career in music is not an automatic invitation to starvation and desperation. In fact, Keith Owens tells us, it can be as stable, even as lucrative, as just about anything else out there.


Reflections of an old new guy

Our eternally youthful Detroit correspondent revisits his skinny, 25-year-old self, and name checks Dennis Archer and Spike Lee to help sort out what's next for the city. Take it away, Sir James Boyle.


Bill Rauhauser's decisive moment

Street photographer Bill Rauhauser, 95, has spent decades documenting Detroit and its people. Glen Morren sat down with Rauhauser and others to explore this legend's living legacy.


Model D TV: New signage lights up Avenue of Fashion

This neighborhood retail initiative led by the Detroit Lions and Hatch Detroit brings our video team back again to the upper Livernois commercial district for the final installment of this series of Model D TV. Shot and produced by DETROIT LIVES! 


Beware the Nain Rouge! A chapter of Detroit folklore

In preparation for this weekend's Marche, we give you a Victorian era account of the legend of the Nain Rouge. Read and be warned -- repeat not Cadillac's folly!


UIX: Francis Grunow and Marche du Nain Rouge

In 2010, Francis Grunow helped introduce a new tradition to an old city. The Marche du Nain Rouge is an annual procession through the Cass Corridor where paraders symbolically drive out the evil red dwarf that torments Detroit.


Playing house on the porous border

Creative transformations are happening in the neighborhood immediately north of Hamtramck, where groups like Power House Productions and the Hinterlands are joining art with community life. Matthew Piper gets experienced at the Play House on Moran St. 


UIX: Khalilah Gaston and Vanguard CDC

The Vanguard mission is to lead the revitalization of the physical, social, and economic fabric of Detroit's North End, and to expand the possibilities for the neighborhood after decades of disinvestment. Amanda Lewan takes a closer look.


Open City: Pop-up Detroit, starting slow and small

Make a note of it: Open City returns next Monday at the Park Bar, not at Cliff Bell's per usual. A panel of Detroit business owners will share their experiences starting up a pop-up.


Let it flow: Breweries play role in Detroit’s turnaround

Detroit is bouncing back with, among other things, beer. Businesses like Atwater, the Detroit Beer Co, Motor City Brewing Works and Traffic Jam & Snug have established a good foundation for growth, with room for plenty more. Joe Baur says cheers to that.

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BRT in Cleveland: No mistake by the lake

Bus rapid transit, which is less expensive and more flexible than light or heavy rail options, has been bandied about as a viable means for mass transit in Detroit. Matthew Lewis went south of the Michigan border to check out one of the premier systems in the nation. 


Embracing Detroit music as economic, cultural force

In December, we began examining the role Detroit music plays in the city's past, present and future. We continue the discussion in a three-part series that focuses on the cultural and economic impact of the local scenes. Keith Owens goes looking for people with ideas.   


Hamtown rocks!

Hamtramck is a rock 'n' roll town, no doubt about it. When the Blowout decided to split time with Ferndale, some Hamtown folks decided to step up and fill up the first weekend of March with groovy, rockin' local bands. MJ Galbraith leans in for this preview. 


UIX: Alessandra Carreon and Better Block Detroit

This is an effort to raise awareness of complete streets, placemaking methods, and the potential for healthy, vibrant neighborhoods in the city. Amanda Lewan introduces us to Alessandra Carreon and Better Block Detroit.


Deadline approaches for Knight Arts Challenge

Community info and Q&A sessions are being held in Hamtramck, Southwest Detroit, Northwest Detroit, Midtown and downtown March 24-28. Deadline for applications is April 7.   


Andres Duany: Community building through 'Lean Urbanism'

In this piece adapted from an article written for Fortune Magazine, icon of New Urbanism Duany suggests another, more de-regulated model for Detroit growth and development. As always, we welcome reader comments and robust debate.    


Open City recapped: 'Every person is a brand'

This month's forum took place at Cliff Bell's as usual and was the kickoff event for the first ever #DetroitWeek, a celebration of entrepreneurship and innovation in the city. Matthew Lewis sat in with his notebook.


Paczki mayhem begins with wintry run through Hamtramck

The Tour de Troit-sponsered 5K PaczKi Run is set for this Saturday, But that's just the beginning of a Mardi Gras-esque week of fun, fun, fun in Hamtown. Kelli Kavanaugh tells us how to prepare and what we should check out.


Dan Dirks: Building on 'heart and soul' of DDOT

A city bus system can only withstand so much disinvestment, and DDOT is on the brink. Mayor Mike Duggan recently appointed Dan Dirks, former SMART manager, to lead DDOT’s turnaround effort. Model D spoke with Dirks to find out how he plans to get the system back on track.


UIX: Social Club Grooming Company

Social Club Grooming Co. provides environmentally friendly grooming services as well as health and beauty education to the Detroit community through socially responsible practices. Amy Kuras introduces us to innovator Sebastian Jackson.


Urban dwellers: Detroit attracting city lovers with adventurous spirit

They're coming from New York and from the suburbs to live in a great city at a transitional time in its history. Call them empty nesters or just call them people of good taste finding the lifestyle they seek in Detroit. Dennis Archambault talks to three recent transplants. 


City kids: Building networks for success

Youth Employment Solutions and the Detroit Youth Development Commission's employment program help young people in Detroit develop skills needed to find jobs and prepare themselves for a better future. Matthew Lewis heads to Denby High to check it out.


Celebrate Year of the Horse at Detroit-Chinese gala event

Gov. Snyder is the keynote speaker at this high level international gala at Cobo Center. It's a celebration of the Chinese Year of the Horse, historically a good time to forge new business relationships.


UIX: Jenny Feterovich and Parliament Studios

A television, film, and video production company with projects that include Start Up USA and Girls Gone Vinyl, Parliament Studios is a company headed by Jenny Feterovich, who also performs as the DJ Jenny LaFemme. 


This week in Detroit, love is all you need

This is a healthy sign: we can't remember a Valentine's Day in Detroit proper (and Hamtramck) filled with so many events, from music to skating to indie retail fun in a long, long time. Kelli Kavanaugh puts together a hot list of cool things to do this week. 


Detroit may be bankrupt, but it’s 600 feet above sea level

In part three of his series on neighborhood, Francis Grunow goes big picture and places Detroit within a context of global warming, blue/green infrastructure and sustainability over the next 100 years.      


Opinion: Social entrepreneurship is sick

Writer and social entrepreneur Tunde Wey calls out the very hand that feeds him in this wide-ranging and romantic meditation on doers, fixers and problem solvers that reaches back to Henry Ford and looks forward to a more self-aware future.   


UIX: Welcome, Grand Circus

This is a new company that aims to increase the size of Detroit's technology industry by addressing a dearth of tech talent in the city through classes, workshops and networking opportunities. MJ Galbraith explores Grand Circus for the Urban Innovation Exchange. 


Jazz mentoring hitting the right notes in Midtown

Instruction at Michigan State's Detroit Community Music School is done by working musicians and educators who are giving back some of the same elite training they received as students. Gather round as Veronica Grandison tunes into the scene.


Experience Detroit: Get your hyperlocal kicks with AirBnB

Whether you're a traveler looking for an alternative to staying at a downtown hotel, or a local looking to explore what life is like in other neighborhoods, staying at a Detroit AirBnB could be an awesome experience. Matthew Lewis gives us a few options.


Open City: Take your business to the next level

The group, which aims to strenghen the local business community, is partnering with Bamboo Detroit on this event, held Feb. 17, 6 p.m. at Cliff Bell's in downtown Detroit. Here's a preview.


UIX: Detroit Collaborative Design Center

The Detroit Collaborative Design Center celebrates 20 years of architectural vision and execution Feb. 5 at the Main Branch of  the Detroit Public Library in the Cultural Center. More info and RSVP here

transit-oriented list

Detroit, get ready for transit-oriented development

Public officials and developers across the region are preparing to reap the economic potential of functional transit, something many cities across the country have already done. How it gets done in Detroit is critical to its success, writes Nina Ignaczak.


Open City's 'Who's the boss?' recapped

So, how exactly are cooperative businesses structured? Last week's Open City panel talked of "one person, one vote," and "dynamic governance." Aaron Mondry was there and gets into the nitty gritty of the discussion in this report.


Palmer Park's turnaround and neighborhood revival

Great things are happening in Palmer Park, the historic, 296-acre greenspace and adjacent apartment district, which features a jaw-dropping collection of buildings built between 1925 and 1965. Matthew Piper surveys the past, present and future plans for the neighborhood.  


City Kids: Nurturing Detroit's gardens of love

The productive green space is part of the Detroit School Garden Collaborative, a partnership between the Detroit Public Schools and the Greening of Detroit. Amy Kuras eagerly looks forward to planting season in this report. 


UIX: Jay Rayford and Social Sushi

Co-founder of catering company Social Sushi and the online promotions site repyourcity.com, Jay Rayford has built up a loyal following for both projects. Amanda Lewan has the profile for the Urban Innovation Exchange. 


Is bike sharing success a real possibility for Detroit?

We welcome back Kelli Kavanaugh, Model D's former development news editor and now East Riverfront bicycle entrepreneur, who will be writing about cycling in the city over the coming months. First up: all you needed to know about bike sharing but were afraid to ask. 


UIX: Raquel Castaneda-Lopez of Council District Six

Raquel Castaneda-Lopez is the first person to represent District Six on Detroit City Council, and the first Latina ever elected to the council. Matthew Lewis makes the introduction for the Urban Innovation Exchange.

Street art list

New chapter begins in Detroit literary arts scene

The fab Write A House project has gone viral, and we welcome all the out-of-town budding literati that it will spawn, but we wanted to focus on the "where" as much as the "what." The neighborhood called Banglatown, NoHam or Power House is what Matthew Lewis is talking about.

One Detroit list

What if we really were one Detroit?

In Part II of his creative look at how neighborhood life has evolved in Detroit, Francis Grunow goes back over 300 years -- older than our nation itself -- to explore how we came to the footprint we have today, and how things might look under a greater municipal regional entitiy.   


Lessons learned from M.L. King: "Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly."

The author, a Michigan native who attended college in Oregon before moving to Detroit a few years ago, wants to be part of the solution here while remaining sensitive to longstanding issues of race. Joel Batterman calls on the legacy of Martin Luther King in this essay. 


City kids: Growing next generation of medical professionals

A combination of mentoring, job shadowing, and taking kids inside classrooms and labs used to train tomorrow's scientists, doctors and coders is helping prepare young Detroiters for careers in health care. Amy Kuras shows us how it's getting done.


Model D/UIX TV: Rebecca Willis and Bleeding Heart Design

Founded by Rebecca Willis, Bleeding Heart Design's goal is reimagine community spaces by what she calls visual real estate, with a healthy dose of altruism and selflessness. DETROIT LIVES! shot the piece for the Urban Innovation Exchange. 


Opinion: Inspired DSO sets diverse course for the future

We were recently invited to sit in on the Detroit Symphony Orchestra's annual meeting. It was a terrific event, filled with news of Midtown community love and artistic and financial growth for the organization. President and CEO Anne Parsons shares her remarks. 


UIX: Social innovator and entrepreneur Sarida Scott Montgomery

Sarida Scott Montgomery is the executive director of Community Development Advocates of Detroit (CDAD) and co-founder of Good People Popcorn. Tunde Wey of Urban Innovation Exchange has the profile.


Rebuilding Detroit's first and last neighborhood

Francis Grunow's presentation at last month's Idealab in Ann Arbor was so good we thought it should reach a wider audience in Model D. Not only that: we're turning it into a three-part think series on Detroit neighborhoods. Take it away, sir. 


Open City preview: Who's the boss?

Good question to start off the new year on the right entrepreneurial foot: 'Who's the boss' is all about exploring alternative ownership models in the local business community. Check it out Jan. 20 at Cliff Bell's in downtown Detroit.


Meet Model D's new development news editor

MJ Galbraith is a creative writer, a musician and a guy with his ear to the ground looking for all the Detroit development news that's fit to print. Find him walking into a building or business near you. 


Stabilizing neighborhoods by investing in Detroit Land Bank

Shoring up the middle class is key to improving neighborhood life in Detroit. By working with homeowner associations in the Boston-Edison and East English Village neighborhoods, the Detroit Land Bank is starting to get results, says Dennis Archambault in this report.


Model D TV: Detroit Design Center sculpts new signage for Avenue of Fashion

A neighborhood retail initiative led by the Detroit Lions and Hatch Detroit brings our video team back again to the upper Livernois commercial district for this series of Model D TV episodes. Enjoy Part II produced by DETROIT LIVES! 


On the Ground: Brightmoor on film

In this fab video piece by Oren Goldenberg and Matthew Lewis, we get up close and personal with the doers and the makers that are rebuilding Brighmoor brick by brick, wall by wall. It's a story to inspire neighborhood redevelopment across the city.


On the Ground: Panel discussion recapped

Last Wednesday, a group of Brightmoor residents and people from around the region gathered at the Brightmoor Community Center for a neighborhood Speaker Series event. Matthew Lewis was there to capture it all in words and pictures.


Green City Diaries: 2013 in review

One of the threads running through the eight diary entries we published this year is seeing different people engaged in different passions in all corners of Detroit. Matthew Piper recaps 2013 in sustainability and green living.


UIX: Kurt Spieles and Spielhaus Toys

Kurt Spieles is the owner of Spielhaus Toys, a 2013 Hatch Detroit finalist now popping up on Woodward through the holidays with sights set on a permanent location in the future. Amy Kuras shows us why the retail spot is meant for kids of all ages.


Happy Holidays, from us to you

The holiday season is already is in full swing here at Model D, but we're going to take it up a notch the next two weeks with family and friends. Stay warm and cozy and we'll see you back here Jan. 7.


On the Ground, in words and pictures

Meet some people who consider self-sufficiency integral to their lives and choose Brightmoor over a more remote location because of the value they place in community. Slideshow courtesy of Model D photographer Marvin Shaouni.


Growing bold ideas for Detroit's future

At this year's Idealab at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business, six Detroit innovators were invited to Ann Arbor to share radical ideas for the future of the city. Matthew Lewis was there with his notebook, Doug Coombe with his camera.


UIX: Riet Schumack and Neighbors Building Brightmoor

Riet Schumack is one of the co-founders of a non-profit organization composed of a group of neighbors dedicated to helping each other to create a beautiful, healthy and sustainable community for themselves and their children. Matthew Lewis reports for UIX.


Green Grocer: Finding fresh food in greater downtown

Our food shopping tour concludes in Lafayette Park, East Riverfront and Midtown, where Nicole Rupersburg visits markets offering fresh produce, meats, fish and other home cooking staples. Marvin Shaouni puts it all into focus with his camera.


Shop local: Our list of holiday shopping destinations

Only seven days left to get the rest of your holiday shopping on and, thanks to a growing number of creative urban entrepreneurs, your options are increasing. Nicole Rupersburg compiles a list of places you need to go.


Model D TV: Back on Livernois with the Lions and Hatch Detroit

A neighborhood retail initiative led by the Detroit Lions and Hatch Detroit brings our video team DETROIT LIVES! back to the Avenue of Fashion for this series of Model D TV episodes. 


Open City recapped: "Loca-what?"

Cliff Bell's was packed with people interested hearing a panel of experts involved in the world of "Loca-vesting," or sourcing funding locally from companies and individuals located in the same community. Matthew Lewis reports from the crowd.


On the Ground: Reinvesting in power of education

Nearly 20 years ago, 167,000 students were enrolled in Detroit Public Schools. Today, only 49,000 students attend school in the district, leaving over 150 vacant buildings. Matthew Lewis talks to a group working to repurpose one of them into a trade school in Brightmoor.


Music is missing link in Detroit recovery

Essayist Keith Owens says Detroit needs to polish off its 'international gold standard' as a music city and re-emerge as a creative powerhouse to rival Memphis and New Orleans, at the very least. Let's start by helping to keep local talent in the city, he says. 

Joe Rashid

UIX: Joe Rashid and Restore the 'Moor

Joe Rashid is the Outreach Director for Restore the 'Moor, a community-driven plan being developed by and for community members in Brightmoor. Matthew Lewis introduces the person and the project for the Urban Innovation Exchange.


Speaker Series: What can we learn from Brightmoor?

Come to the Brightmoor Community Center on Wednesday, Dec. 11 to learn lessons that can inform what we do in other Detroit communities. The event features a group of panelists made up of engaged residents, neighborhood leaders, and creative thinkers.


Dance Noel Night away at Model D house

Yes, we're gonna party hard as part of the joyous Noel Night festivities in Midtown this Saturday, Dec. 7. And you're all invited. Come meet some of our staff and contributors, drink and eat a little, then hit our dance floor. Good times in the North Cass Corridor assured.   


Green Grocer: University Commons and beyond

Our food shopping tour across the city continues in North Central Detroit, where Nicole Rupersburg visits full-service markets offering fresh produce, meats, fish and other home cooking staples. Marvin Shaouni captures it all with his camera.


Green Grocer: Fresh food shopping on Detroit's Lower East Side

Our food shopping tour across the city continues on the Lower East Side, where Nicole Rupersburg visits full-service markets offering fresh produce, meats, fish and other home cooking staples. Marvin Shaouni dropped in with his camera.


Zipcars bring pay-by-the-hour motoring to the Motor City

Living without a car has never been easy in Detroit. But with Zipcar’s recent launch of a fleet of 40 vehicles across the city, the car-free dream just got a little easier. Nina Ignaczak looks at how the program works, Marvin Shaouni shows us visual proof.


City kids: Young Detroiters finding a voice

Supporters of youth advocacy programs say that when youth are a part of the solution they can help transform neighborhoods, schools, and communities -- and stay out of trouble in the mean time. Melinda Clynes makes the case in this report.


On the Ground: Center of Brightmoor community life

A neighborhood gathering place built by residents 84 years ago, the Brightmoor Community Center has overcome financial distress to create a collaborative environment at the corner of Lyndon and Burt roads. Matthew Lewis visits and reports. 

Ritchie Harrison

UIX: Ritchie Harrison and Jefferson East Inc.

Ritchie Harrison is the economic development director for Jefferson East Inc., an organization that focuses on the revitalization of neighborhoods along the East Jefferson corridor. MJ Galbraith has the rest of the story for Urban Innovation Exchange.


Happy Thanksgiving, see you in December

Eat some great food, drink some great drinks and enjoy the next couple of weeks without us. We'll look for you at the parade or at some cozy craft cocktail party. Be safe, you'll see us again Dec. 3. 


IdeaLab: A look into the future

We're excited to partner again with the Revitalization and Business Conference this Friday, Dec. 6. Presented by the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business, "IdeaLab" is a fast-paced, two-hour session with a stellar line-up of Detroit innovators.


On the Ground: From radical to reverend in Brightmoor

Focusing efforts on his personal vision for Brightmoor, Rev. Larry Simmons is intent on creating a neighborhood that is "saved, prospering, peaceful, diverse, engaged, and empowered." Matthew Lewis reports on how the pastor's church is involved in neighborhood redevelopment. 

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Detroit's NSO building: Architectural gem rebuilt on social responsibility

The art deco high rise, once known by its landmark Yellow Pages sign, anchors the eastern end of Hope Village, where Oakman Boulevard crosses the Lodge. Dennis Archambault reports on how the Neighborhood Services Organization transformed more than just a building. 


Green City Diaries: Fab Lab and the language of nature

Based on fundamental values like caring for the Earth and its people, urban permaculture is here and Detroit looks to be an ideal partner to test how it can work. Matthew Piper shows us where a new, better and self-sustaining future is being built.


Green Grocer: Remodeled food stores abound on Detroit's West Side

Like the East Side, which Nicole Rupersburg visited last week, several full-service markets on the other side of town have seen recent upgrades. Marvin Shaouni brought his camera along for this report.


UIX: Greg Willerer and Brother Nature Produce

An urban farm in Corktown thats sells locally-grown herbs, greens, and produce at local farmers' markets and through their CSA program. You can also find Brother Nature Produce on menus of area restaurants that support the local foods movement. 


YEA Brightmoor: Detroit kids raising money for entrepreneurial incubator

Readers can help these student entrepreneurs achieve their goal of raising $50,000 to create a dedicated space to run their businesses, which include the Brightmoor Woodworkers and Brightmoor Bikes and Trailers. Matthew Lewis reports.


Green Grocer: East Side expands with fresh food choices

Some of the city's most impressive full-service markets are on the East Side, where several stores have seen recent upgrades to the exterior, interior and product lines. Nicole Rupersberg goes shopping, Marvin Shaouni brings his camera for this report.


Opinion: The enlightened path to social entrepreneurship

The mercurial Tunde Wey is a swashbuckler, a poet, a writer for our sister UIX project and a food and drink romantic. We asked him to bliss out over (revolver), the Hamtramck restaurant he co-founded with biz partner Peter Dalinowski.


Open City: Exploring innovative investing and funding models

Join Model D partner Open City and moderator Craig Fahle from WDET 101.9 FM Monday Nov. 18 for a discussion on alternate ways of raising capital for small business. The talk begins at 6 p.m. at Cliff Bell's in downtown Detroit. 


UIX: Elias Khalil and La Feria

Meet the people behind the Hatch Detroit-winning Spanish tapas restaurant that opened this week on Cass Avenue in Midtown. Amy Kuras reports for the Urban Innovation Exchange. 


On the Ground: Brightmoor's art club for kids

Writer Matthew Lewis says that a simple thing like a free art club, a place where neighborhood kids can get to know each other and learn to express themselves outside of the home and school, has done wonders to help build community in Brightmoor. 


Detroit by District: Election day, time to vote

Over the last seven months, Matthew Lewis has reported from each of the city's newly-minted council districts and showed us the work that community development groups are doing at the neighborhood scale. Now, people, get out to vote today.


On the Ground: Clearing blight, uncovering assets in Brightmoor

Developed nearly a century ago to accommodate the city's swelling population of laborers, Brightmoor remains on the cutting edge of future land use projects in Detroit. Matthew Lewis reports from the far Northwest side of town.


Belle Isle to 8 Mile: Day of the Dead

Southwest Detroit is where the action is this week, when neighborhood folks roll out a variety of Halloween and Dia de los Muertos activities. Great food and good times assured, say our authors, the deadly Linn siblings from City Bird and Nest. 


Declare Detroit: Endorsements for council and mayor

With the General Election looming, we asked our friends at Declare Detroit to share their endorsements for City Council and mayor. Take a look, make some smart choices and get out to vote next Tuesday, Nov. 5.


Detroit by District: Gold Coast and the Villages

In his final full report on Detroit's new council by districts, Matthew Lewis heads to the near lower East Side to explore the Villages, made up of historic, leafy neighborhoods with new retail buzz.


Green Grocer: Fresh food aplenty in Southwest Detroit

Everyone knows that heading to Southwest Detroit for restaurant food is a smart thing to do. But fresh produce and meats at neighborhood grocers? You bet, says Nicole Rupersburg, who profiles five of the area's best in this report. 


UIX: Lauren Hood and Deep Dive Detroit

She's co-founder of an organization that aims to create a safe space for uncomfortable conversations between disparate groups. Meet Lauren Hood of Deep Dive Detroit. Tunde Wey of the Urban Innovation Exchange makes the introduction.


City kids: Diversity is a strength in Hamtramck Public Schools

In Hamtramck, where immigrant families from all over the world have settled for generations, students are as likely to speak Arabic or Bengali as they are English. Amy Kuras discovers how the public schools are meeting the challenges of a multicultural population.   


On the Ground: Youth entrepreneurship in action

The Detroit Community Schools is launching a Kickstarter campaign in partnership with TechTown's SWOT City program to raise funds needed to transform a garage into an entrepreneurial incubator. Matthew Lewis reports from Brightmoor.


Green Grocer: A fresh food oasis in Northwest Detroit

Another myth we are happy to help disprove is that Detroit is a food desert. No, no it isn't, and for the next several weeks Nicole Rupersburg will show us what's really up in a series of profiles on full-service stores in neighborhoods throughout the city. 


UIX: Andrea Scobie and Matrix Theatre Company

The company, on Bagley in the heart of Mexicantown, is a stage for both youth and adults in Detroit, offering innovative programs aimed at educating youth in the arts, building community and fostering social justice.


What Cincinnati can learn from Detroit

In a recent city-to-city knowledge exchange dubbed CitySwap, a group of professionals working on Greater Downtown Cincinnati Development traveled to Detroit to tour inspiring projects and places. A team from Model D's sister pub Soapbox came along. Here's what they discovered.


International students at Michigan schools present opportunities for economy

This Wednesday, Oct.16, Global Detroit and the Michigan Global Talent Retention Initiative release a report detailing where international students in the state are working after they graduate. Andrew Sokoly gives us a preview.


UIX: Detroit Vegan Soul

The city's only 100 percent plant-based foods restaurant, Detroit Vegan Soul in the Villages aims to promote healthful eating in the community. Amy Kuras takes the dairy-free taste test for the Urban Innovation Exchange. 


On the Ground: Curbside economics in Brightmoor

We spent the summer working hard and having fun in the Osborn neighborhood. Now it's on to Brightmoor, on the city's far Northwest side, where Matthew Lewis will be reporting from the inside out for the next three months. 

Brightmoor revisited

Brightmoor Alliance revisited

As we launch our On the Ground series in Brightmoor, we step back to take another look at the coalition of nearly 50 organizations dedicated to serving this Northwest Detroit community. Tunde Wey reports for the Urban Innovation Exchange.


Opinion: Change Michigan law, not yourself

Incredibly, if you are lesbian or gay, bisexual or transgender and work in Michigan you can be fired for simply being who you are. Curtis Lipscomb of KICK, a Detroit agency for LGBT African Americans, says the time to change the law is now.


Permaculture: Green economy takes root in Highland Park

An approach to designing a self-maintaining garden modeled after natural ecosystems, Permaculture maximizes the distribution of rainwater by aligning it with exposure to sun and wind. Dennis Archambault went digging for this story.


UIX: Le'Ticia Fisher and PHAT Magazine

Le'Ticia Fisher is serving the fashion industry a healthy dose of reality and the demand seems ravenous as evidenced by the growth of PHAT Magazine. After releasing its first issue a few months ago, its circulation is already around 5,000, says Tunde Wey. 


Opinion: An Opportunity for Belle Isle to see a brighter day

Leasing the park to the state would provide $4 million or more in annual cost savings to the city, free up money for other Detroit parks and allow reinvestment in public safety for city neighborhoods. Evette Hollins lays out the advantages in this opinion piece.

Open City

Open City: Introducing Detroit BizGrid

Our friends at Open City will be hosting a talk on a new tool to help navigate the local business landscape and to aid entrepreneurs in building relationships. Model D is pleased to be a partner for this event, held Oct. 21 at Cliff Bell's.


Publisher's Notebook: Onward & upward

High-energy Model D publisher is moving on to consolidate her many talents with the Urban Innovation Exchange and other projects. Claire Nelson reflects on two amazing years and looks forward to helping shape the city's future. 


On the Ground: Osborn's turnaround people

The Osborn neighborhood, as we learned this summer, is full of established, adult leaders who are mentoring and shaping the lives of youth on the city's Northeast side. Nicely done. Matthew Lewis and Marvin Shaouni report from Seven Mile and Hoover.   


UIX: Marcell Copeland and the MAN Network

The MAN Network is an organization of volunteers dedicated to making Osborn a safer place. Community volunteers patrol the neighborhoods in which they live in vehicles and on foot, wearing black t-shirts with the word RESPECT printed on the back.


On the Ground: East, meet west

It is time to say farewell to Osborn, for now, and take our On the Ground team to the city's far West Side, to spend the next three months in the Brightmoor neighborhood. Project editor Matthew Lewis will be on the hunt for doers, makers and builders.  


Piquette Square: Sustainable housing offers chance at new lives for veterans

Opened in 2010, the four-story residential complex at 6221 Brush has 150 apartments and over 11,000 square feet of common area and commercial space, with plans to develop a small park immediately north of the building. Dennis Archambault reports from New Center.


Model D Speaker Series on transit recapped

The event was the culmination of the three-day Transportation Odyssey -- on bicycle, bus and train -- from Traverse City to Detroit. The panel and the crowd at 1515 Broadway exchanged some great transit ideas, reports Matthew Lewis.


Artists, musicians take over Hamtramck

Now in its fourth year, the Hamtramck Neighborhood Arts Festival covers the length of this "city-within-a-city-neighborhood" plus parts of Detroit up to Davison. Creative critical mass is accelerating, says Walter Wasacz, who suggests coming early and staying late at this daylong event.     


Opinion: What if Dally was Daily?

The North Cass Corridor coming alive with art, food, music and people has been a one-day, late-summer tradtition since the 1970s. But is it a blueprint for something more ambitious? Claire Nelson and Francis Grunow weigh in on what they say could be the start of a new alley district.   


On the Ground: Youth making an impact

Lettie-Ann Miller, a senior at Osborn Academy of Mathematics, Science, and Technology, tells us what it means for a 17-year-old from the northeast side to get an internship with GM. It solidified ties to her own community, she says. 


UIX: Detroit, a city of superheroes

Urban innovator Ingrid LaFleur recounts the first Afrofuturism class she taught for youth at the Carr Center, where she tied together mythology, poststructuralist theory, and contemporary politcs into a youth-friendly superhero package. 


Twelfth annual Tour de Troit beats rain, attracts over 6,000 riders

This year's riders surpassed last year's total by 500. Proceeds from the Tour and other biking events held by the non-profit organization support the planning and implementation of greenways across the City of Detroit. Nina Ignaczak recaps.


Strategies for renovation: Notes from Novogradac Historic Tax Credit Conference

One of the messages of this two-day event, which examined the impact of federal incentives on the city's revitalization, is that there are tools and subsidies available to make these projects possible. Timothy Boscarino digs deeper in this report.


Detroit by District: The promise of the Joy-Southfield community

This West Side neighborhood embraces healthy living practices, including a clinic for residents without insurance and a farmers market where produce from community gardens is sold. Matthew Lewis takes a tour with Rodney Gasaway of the Joy-Southfield CDC. 


Tour de Troit: Much more than a big bike ride

A dozen years after forming, the Tour de Troit has evolved from a small, leisurely group ride into an annual juggernaut attracting over 5,000 cyclists. Nina Ignaczak recaps the history and looks ahead as the organization forms a nonprofit to fund greenways.

Taste of Hamtown

Taste of the Hamtown

Featuring Asian, European and middle eastern restaurants, multicultural markets, cooking demos and opening and closing parties, Hamtramck will be rocking during the city's first ever Food Week. Noelle Lothamer previews.


On the Ground: Visualizing Osborn

During the last two months in the Osborn neighborhood we've been finding good people doing great things for the community. Matthew Lewis and Oren Goldenberg went out with a video camera to capture the positive vibes.


Model D TV: Tom Nardone and the Detroit Mower Gang

Literally a foot-to-the-pedal, dirt-inside-the-fingernails organization that helps keep playgrounds and other green spaces cut in Detroit, the Mower Gang is garnering national attention for its good work. DETROIT LIVES! produced the video. 


Global Detroit: Let's celebrate National Welcoming Week

U.S.-born residents join with immigrants and refugees in a spirit of unity across Michigan and the rest of the country for National Welcoming Week. Christine Sauvé of Welcoming Michigan teams up with Global Detroit for this report.


Game not over: New beats flow in Detroit hip hop scene

Move over Marshall Mathers, respect to the memory of J Dilla, there is a new crop of Detroit artists and designers inspired by hip hop culture. Veronica Grandison follows the flow to meet the innovators making it happen now. 


On the Ground: Young and Hmong in Osborn

The Hmong people are an ethnic group that originates from the mountainous regions of China, Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand and speak the Hmong language. Matthew Lewis introduces us to three recent high school grads from the Osborn neighborhood.


Model D Speaker Series: Transit, Outside the Box

Join us Friday, Sept. 27 at 1515 Broadway in downtown Detroit to culminate this year's Transportation Odyssey with a special happy hour and conversation about "outside the box" thinking to better connect our city, region and state.


Model D Speaker Series on creative education recapped

A panel and audience made up of arts educators and artists, teachers and other interested citizens joined in a spirited conversation at the Henry Ford Academy Elementary School last month. Matthew Lewis took notes.


UIX: Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit

Since Rick Sperling launched the group in 1992, Mosaic Youth Theatre has performed for presidents, received distinguished awards, and toured the world. MJ Galbraith reports for the Urban Innovation Exchange.


On the Ground: Community change makers

Providing young people with the tools for success is what motivates Kibwe Pope and Lisa Leverette to mentor kids living in the Osborn neighborhood. Matthew Lewis talks to these two community builders in this week's On the Ground feature.


Youth Transit Alliance: Pilot program gets kids where they need to go

The lack of functional public transit in Detroit hits kids hard, especially when there is no bus to get them to and from youth programs. Nina Ignazak tells us about a new partnership, launched by the Skillman Foundation and the Detroit Bus Company, that is meeting this critical demand.


Detroit by District: Linking generations in Southwest

In this multi-ethnic, multi-lingual area with a population as much young as it is elderly, nonprofits under the umbrella of the Community Development Advocates of Detroit are helping people make important connections. Matthew Lewis reports from the newly-minted Claytown neighborhood.


See you in September

We hate to take the last week of August off, we really do. But, like the French, we will make good use of our time at our favorite late summer beach. As you should, dear Model D reader. We will return Sept. 10 with more Detroit-based love in words and pictures.


UIX: Elizabeth Garlow and Michigan Corps

Read all about an organization that connects Michigan citizens to opportunities that help advance social innovation in the state. Tunde Wey is on the case for the Urban Innovation Exchange.


Innovation City: Join us for OpenCo Detroit

This Thursday, Sept. 12 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. we'll be doing a loop of incubators and co-working spaces in greater downtown that have emerged as springboards for new ideas in the city. Get more info inside and sign up today. 


Opinion: Keep DIA collection off the table

To sell assets held in public trust would set a poor precedent for its lack of preservation of art and cultural artifacts. In addition, there is very little legal support or business sense in seeking a sale of the art, says guest columnist and bankruptcy attorney Kimberly Clayson. 


City kids: High-quality charter schools await Detroit families

The Detroit Achievement Academy, James and Grace Lee Boggs School and the Y Detroit Leadership Academy High School are opening this fall in the city. Amy Kuras shows us what we can expect.


Belle Isle to 8 Mile: Our guide to Detroit pizza

The city's savory saucy pies come in all shapes and sizes, some made from recipes originating in Sicily others inspired by the cuisine of Bangladesh. There are some mighty crazy-tasty edible creations out there, say our authors, the fabulous Linn kids. 


UIX: Georgia Street Community Garden Collective

This nonprofit organization founded by social activist Mark Covington reduces blight, addresses food security issues, and builds community through urban farming on Detroit's East Side. Matthew Lewis goes digging for the Urban Innovation Exchange.


Hatch Detroit: Meet the Top 10

The top four Hatch finalists selected from the online public vote will advance to the next round. To help you choose which business you want to endorse, Model D development news editor Nicole Rupersburg checks in with each of the semifinalists.


Skillman's community builder - past, present and future

Tonya Allen, Skillman's current CEO, who also created the Good Neighborhoods program and helped launch Excellent Schools Detroit, will become president of the foundation in the new year. Amy Kuras profiles this resourceful leader.  


Green City Diaries: Honeybee buzz

A resurgence in urban beekeeping is part of a return to the agricultural practices we had in cities in the 1930s and 1940s. New York, Paris, Detroit and other urban areas are leading a movement back to greater biodiversity, says our sustainability diarist Matthew Piper.


UIX: Joel Peterson and Trinosophes Cafe

Promoter, artist and social activist Joel Peterson is one of Detroit's honest to goodness treasures. He's been setting just the right tone for the experimental music scene for two decades. Now he's doing it in his own space in Eastern Market.


On the Ground: Looking toward the future

In this week's installment of our summer series in Osborn, Claire Nelson talks to Ronisha Bannerman, who graduated with honors and is on her way to Grand Valley State. But in the long term, she wants to help change the perception of her neighborhood.


On the Ground: Party in a hut (what?)

There will be music and healthy, local food at this late summer party this Saturday in the Osborn community. Some of the local leaders we've been profiling in the On the Ground series will be there. Big fun meets neighborhood innovation and collaboration. Mark your calendars.  


UIX: Cecelia Sharpe and Urban Stringz II Youth Ensemble

Urban Stringz, an ensemble founded by Cecelia Sharpe, develops students' musical talents and abilities in addition to exposing them to our culturally rich and diverse society. Detroit, take note. Tunde Wey reports.


Opinion: Despite Detroit bankruptcy, architects must imagine better built environment

Frank X. Arvan, president of AIA Detroit, says everyone is invited to be part of the vision and reality of the region's future. He longs for diversity, density and projects that promote the common good. 


Model D Speaker Series: Creative cities, the next generation

Join us this Thursday to hear from innovative educators on both sides of the state who are pushing the needle to ensure our city kids are bright, inquisitive and ready to tackle the challenges of the future. Register now.


On the Ground: Nurturing political activism in Osborn

An old school neighborhood advocacy group with roots in the civil rights movement of the 1960s, the Youth Inititiaves Project (YIP) carries weight and street cred in Osborn. Matthew Lewis introduces us to the man who makes it all happen in this installment of On the Ground.


Detroit by District: Making Jefferson corridor clean and safe

A program that deploys off duty Detroit Police officers to help patrol East Jefferson neighborhoods from the Villages to the Grosse Pointe Park border is beginning to pay dividends. Matthew Lewis goes for a ride to the lower east side for this report.


Global Detroit: Attracting immigrants key to Detroit growth

The authors make a powerful point that the lack of new immigrant populations and diversity in Detroit has contributed to population loss and disinvestment in the city. They also propose solutions to help atteact and retain foreign-born residents.   


UIX: Audra Carson and De:Tread

This enterprising group provides solutions to tire blight with the result being cleaner, healthier and safer Detroit neighborhoods. Tunde Wey talks to founder Audra Carson in the Osborn neighborhood.


On the Ground: Changing the culture of learning

Students at the Brenda Scott Academy are not part of a traditional academic setting. They have longer school days and remain in class 11 months out of the year. Matthew Lewis spent time there last week and witnessed good things beginning to develop.


Detroit rallies round the G.A.R. once again and what that means for downtown

Tom and David Carleton began developing downtown property in the early 1990s, when most of the money was headed elsewhere. Now they talk about creating "the greatest space to take a meeting between New York and L.A." Francis Grunow meets the brothers for a chat on the roof of the Grand Army Republic building.


Opinion: Bankruptcy, the beginning of another opportunity

Matthew Naimi has made an impact working on food, land use and recyling issues. He has run for City Council and worked on youth programs with the Detroit Public Schools. He says bankruptcy provides us with a real plan, perhaps for the first time. 


On the ground and running

Welcome to Osborn, where writer Matthew Lewis is spending the summer reporting on all the small but important things that build community life in a Detroit neighborhood. Where does the energy begin? At the Benjamin Franklin branch of the Detroit Public Library.


Whole lotta local foods love

When Whole Foods Market planned its Midtown location it also made sure to include the products of Detroit food innovators and entrepreneurs on its shelves. Food writer Noelle Lothamer takes us down the aisles to show us where the local stuff stacks up. 


Locavore shopping list: Our guide to Detroit vendors at WFM

The local food scene is booming in Detroit, and it's reflected in the choices available to shoppers at Midtown's Whole Foods Market. Noelle Lothamer gives us a taste what you can find there.  


UIX: Detroit bids for X Games

Detroiters Kevin Krease and Garret Koehler have taken a bid for bringing the X Games to Detroit into the final round. Word is that the announcement will be made this week. MJ Galbraith has the story for the Urban Innovation Exchange.


Support, outreach winning combo for DC Futbol Club

Oh, yeah, and the team is none too shabby either, just capturing its regular season championship with an 11-0-1 record. Matthew Lewis was on the pitch screaming "goal!" at the team's recent victory over Buffalo. 


Detroit Regional City talk recapped

The Detroit Institute of Arts was host to a stimulating panel discussion on regionalism -- a vitally important cog in the future of the city. Walter Wasacz brought his notebook, Oren Goldenberg his video camera. 


On the Ground: Model D launches summer media hub in Osborn

Our new summerlong series in Osborn is about people and projects driving neighborhood transformation. We'll meet residents and leaders, educators and students, artists and entrepreneurs, get the big picture by seeing all the little details at work. Claire Nelson prepares us for what's to come.


UIX: Monty Luke and Black Catalogue

He's a California man who relocated to Detroit kicking and screaming. That's OK dude, and probably the best way to enter the music and entrepreneurial scenes here. Monty Luke DJs, produces his own techno and started a company. Not bad all, writes Tunde Wey.


Hustling harder at Van Dusen Urban Leadership Forum

The author attended a two-day design workshop at Ponyride -- a space that she says radiates joy and resourcefulness -- challenged by organizers to come with ideas that go beyond joy and get off the ground. Meagan Elliott breaks it down.

arts and scraps list-2

Power up Detroit with a little giving

CultureSource is launching an online, crowd-funding source called power2give. The Eastern Market-based nonprofit arts and culture professional association serves nonprofits across the region. Executive director Maud Lyon tells us what the group is working on now.


Why good design matters, and who is Jeff Chalmers?

We know good design values are key to successful retailing. Especially in walkable neighborhoods like the far East Side's Jefferson East community. Francis Grunow takes a stroll with the two homegrown creatives behind the pop-up project. 


We take a holiday break, see you July 9

We are giving you, dear reader, an early-summer respite from Model D, which, alas, does not publish next week for the Fourth of July holiday. We recommend a remote beach, some great food and cold beverages. Look for us here in a couple weeks.


UIX: Jim Geary and Woodbridge Pub

A neighborhood bar adjacent to the campus of Wayne State University serving affordable, hand-made food, and Michigan craft beers is, perhaps most importantly, a community hub. Tunde Wey talks to owner Jim Geary in this UIX report.

Woodbridge Pub plants the seeds of community in Detroit

Jim Geary set out to change a neighborhood in Detroit. He began with homes in the Woodbridge neighborhood, but things really started to swell when he finished rehabbing a commercial building and opened the Woodbridge Pub, the new center for community in the neighborhood.

The Sparrows welcomes community, grows with Wealthy Street neighborhood

Inspired by the gathering places of early 20th century writers and poets in Russia, Lori Slager and two friends set out to make a coffee shop in Grand Rapids where they'd want to hangout. Now, The Sparrows is the gathering space for neighbors and has been a catalyst for more neighborhood growth.

The Green Door survives decades with commitment to regulars, great entertainment

While neighboring businesses suffered during the economic decline, Lansing's live entertainment bar, the Green Door didn't just survive; it grew. By never wavering in their commitment to the community while evolving their entertainment to reach new audiences, the Green Door has built a reputation as one of Lansing's best hangouts.

Owner Lori Slager at The Sparrows in Grand Rapids

Small businesses as third places experience growth

How many places do you have? If you're not sure, here's a recommendation: three. In this special report, we'll discover small businesses throughout Michigan that serve as "third places" for their communities, and are growing because of it. 


Opinion: Heart of Midtown threatened by widening of I-94

The expressway would be expanded from six lanes to 10, and a two-lane continuous service drive would be added in each direction. In total, the author points out, I-94 would grow from six lanes to 14 lanes in width.


Detroit by district: Restore the 'Moor

A vacant home transformed into a community message board. Public art found in nearly all directions. Hand carved signs at assorted garden sites. This is Brightmoor today, ready to engage the political process. Matthew Lewis reports from the northwest side.


Green City Diaries: Dig this

Sustainability advocacy journalist Matthew Piper talks to Detroit urban farming pioneer Patrick Crouch, who never tires of putting his hands into the soil and coming up with all sorts of wriggling organic life. The point? A healthy, naturally balanced ecosystem for all. 


DIY in Detroit: Allied Media Conference is this week

The 15th annual conference is filled with media workshops, panel discussions, talks on art, technology and gentrification. Not to mention after dark activities featuring musical performances by Kyle Hall, Bahamadia and Dez Andrés. We're there.


UIX: Camilo Pardo and Art & Development Inc.

Camilo Pardo is owner of the Bankle Building, an artist and founder of Art & Development and, perhaps most famously, the designer of the Ford GT. Tunde Wey gets the story for the Urban Innovation Exchange.


Detroit, exported

The second annual Detroit Up North excursion is in the books and, yes, was it ever good times, from barnyard art by Hygienic Dress League to roasted pig courtesy of Supino's Dave Mancini. Walter Wasacz takes the scenic route and shares an interior monologue for this report.


Belle Isle to 8 Mile: An insider's guide to ice cream parlors

No doubt frozen treats are good year round, but they are especially tasty when the sun and air are hottest. Just in time for the coming summer heat, our authors the Linn sibs show us some of the best places to get your ice cream fix in Detroit.


Growing bike culture a boost to local economy

As cities continue to become more bike-friendly, new bike-based businesses are springing up to support the movement. These businesses are banking on and promoting a growing interest in cycling, boosting the local economies. Lee Chilcote reports.


Joy & the city: A conversation with Candy Chang

Whether you have been following her projects in New Orleans and other cities for years, or just really like the idea of interactive public art, you won't want to miss Candy Chang's Detroit appearance on June 18. Fangirl Claire Nelson asks the questions.


UIX: Signal-Return

A traditional letter press design and print shop in Eastern Market, Signal-Return is co-owned by advertising executive and novelist Toby Barlow.


Model D TV: LGBT leaders of color roundup

Our partnership with Between the Lines and the HOPE Fund produced over a year's worth of Model D TV episodes on LGBT leaders of color. Enjoy this recap compiled by M-1 Studios, featuring videos by Tom Hendrickson, Tony Eggert and DETROIT LIVES!


Model D Speaker Series: Detroit Regional City

Join us this Wednesday in the newly redesigned Kresge Court at the Detroit Institute of Arts for a conversation about our metropolitan future, and how we can play a part together. As always, the program is free and open to the public.


Midwest immigration reform: A pragmatic answer to Washington gridlock

Statistics show an overwhelming amount of evidence that immigration is a viable strategy to stimulating the wider economy of the region, including the economic vitality of Detroit neighborhoods. Global Detroit convenes this week to take its initiative to the next level.


UIX: Sweet Potato Sensations

The Northwest Detroit shop welcomes a variety of customers, serving over 10,000 annually from the neighborhood, the city, and the suburbs. Tunde Wey reports for the Urban Innovation Exchange.


Go blue, go green

Our series on blue-green infrastructure wrapped at a recent speaker series event that featured a panel of experts, business people, and activists who discussed the need for the region to embrace its identity as a Great Lakes metropolis. Project editor Matthew Lewis recaps.


City kids: 826michigan expands tutoring, creative writing programs into Detroit

The nonprofit has been working with three Detroit schools -- University Prep, Amelia Earhart Elementary School, and Bunche Elementary School -- since February. The program caters to specific student needs at each school. Melinda Clynes reports.


Driving urban vibrancy forward

The first step in creating a Regional Transit Authority for metro Detroit is done. Now the work begins to create a shared vision and a comprehensive plan to make it all happen. Nina Ignaczak talks to the people already rolling up their sleeves. 


Say yes, Michigan: Marriage equality now

While it's becoming clear that support for same-sex marriage is increasing, with Rhode Island, Delaware and Minnesota recently joining nine other states in making it legal, Michigan still has some work to do, says Matthew Piper.


UIX TV: Khalil Ligon and LEAP

Khalil Ligon is project manager for the Lower Eastside Action Plan, a grassroots community organization that seeks to address land use issues and development planning in that Detroit neighborhood. DETROIT LIVES! provides the lights, camera, action.


Michigan hosts the architectural & industrial design event of the year

State Historic Preservation Office launches blockbuster show June 14 at Cranbrook Art Museum in Bloomfield Hills.


Rainwater man of Southwest Detroit

Meet Jeff Klein, whose business, Detroit Farm and Garden in Southwest Detroit, was opened with a mission to provide quality gardening, farming and landscape resources to the community. Matthew Lewis ties it all to the region's blue-green movement.


Publisher's notebook: The Avenue, a love story

With the "Light up Livernois" event coming up May 31-June 1, Claire Nelson takes a tuneful stroll down the Avenue of Fashion, shining a light on one of Detroit's most historic retail districts. Conclusion? Cooperation and collaboration point to an even more vibrant future.  


Let's party, people

We worked a little overtime this week to bring you an action-packed issue, getting ourselves pumped for good times at Hart Plaza for Movement and for other cool stuff happening around town. We'll see you back here with all new content June 4. 


Thanks for listening, Michigan!

People across the state have helped the Prosperity Agenda radio show on Detroit news/talk 760 WJR win international acclaim.


Detroit by district: It starts with a village

Community leaders and neighborhood advocates like Stephanie Johnson-Cobb, manager of community involvement and safety at Focus: HOPE, are digging in for Detroit's future. Matthew Lewis meets her in part two of our report on new voting districts.  


Mike Kelley's last homecoming

International art star Mike Kelley's final work is a gift to Detroit and the region that inspired and informed his career, from Destroy All Monsters in the 1970s to the end of his life in Los Angeles. Requiem by Nicole Rupersburg. 


Opinion: Detroit needs a strong city council

Detroit residents must focus on the council by district races closely this summer and fall. Get to know the candidates. Be sure to vote. Bring neighborhood empowerment into the governing process, say Matthew Clayson and Bradford Frost. 


UIX: Erik Nordin and Detroit Design Center

The Nordin brothers -- Erik and Israel -- began Detroit Design Center in 2000. At their sprawling work space at Livernois and Michigan, the two designers have created indoor and outdoor pieces in various locations. Tunde Wey has the rest of the story.


Green City Diaries: Conserving water, improving neighborhood life

Detroit residents are finding ways to go blue -- meaning, they are learning about the practical environmental benefits of freshwater infrastructure by creating rain gardens and other water-based landscapes. Matthew Piper dives in to get the story.


Now's the time: Let's get hitched in the city

Nontraditional, creative events inspired by a passion for place and personal expression. That appears to be the current trend when it comes to weddings in Detroit. As it should be, says our expert on urban nuptials, Noelle Lothamer.  


Our guide to planning your wedding in Detroit

Planning one of the biggest days of your life can be daunting, but it can also be a lot of fun if you have good resources. Here are some things to keep in mind as you begin your search for the perfect Detroit wedding spot.


UIX: Haji Flemings and Brand Camp University

An entrepreneur who helps other entrepreneurs and small business owners, Haji Flemings launched the multi-faceted resource program called Brand Camp University to do exactly that. Tunde Wey makes the introductions.


Opinion: Vote, for Detroit

Newcomers and longtime Detroiters need to engage the city on a deeper level. That is: participate in the future of Detroit by voting. Guest commentators Ellen C. Schneider and Kimberly Ross Clayson make the argument for an active electorate.   


What I've learned during Michigan's fight on home foreclosure

MSHDA is partnering with the state’s religious leaders and faith communities to help homeowners avoid foreclosure with a program that addresses each homeowner’s unique situation.


Detroit by district: Beginning a new series on emerging neighborhood leadership

This first feature in our series explores the Northeast Detroit caucus, aka Council District 3, where Matthew Lewis finds the Osborn Neighborhood Alliance and Matrix Human Services working to improve the quality of community life.


Freshwater Metropolis in words and pictures: More than a concept

Now here's a two-for-one treat for our growing blue/green Detroit infrastructure readership: a springtime feature by project editor Matthew Lewis on rain gardens and an equally springy slideshow by photographer Doug Coombe. 


UIX: Jason Hall and Detroit Bike City

Jason Hall is one of the founders of Detroit Bike City, an annual expo held at Cobo Center that gathers bicycle riders, conceptualists, makers, tinkerers and general enthusiasts to explore all to do with cycling.


Detroit Revitalization Fellow: Owiso Makuku

With experience in the Dominican Republic with the Peace Corps, and in various jobs in New York, Boston and Burlington, Vermont, Owiso Makuku comes ready to make a difference in Detroit. Jay Walljasper shows us why. 


Belle Isle to 8 Mile: An insider's guide to Southwest edibles

Food reigns supreme in the city's most ethnic neighborhood, where full service restaurants, mercados and taco trucks are plentiful. Here are a few of the best recommended by our authors, the fab Linn siblings. Don't forget the hot sauce.  


Detroit Revitalization Fellow: Erin Kelly

She's studied and worked in major cities in North America, was inspired by the creative scenes in Berlin and landed in Detroit to work for NextEnergy -- and design Detroit's first off leash dog park. Jay Walljasper profiles Erin Kelley. 


UIX: Meghan McEwen and Honor & Folly

Owner of Honor & Folly, a small-scale, design-focused Corktown-based inn, Meghan McEwen has created a modern space for travelers of a bygone era. It's on one of the city's best blocks, with barbecue, coffee and whiskey a few steps below. 


Special Edition: Q&A with Gravikor's Jim Richter

Jim Richter wears more than one hat in Metro Detroit's entrepreneurial ecosystem, and he regularly throws those hats into the regional economy's growing defense sector. Richter is the CEO of Gravikor, a Delphi spin-out that is working to commercialize welding technology that is both lighter and stronger than traditional welding. It aims to take this technology to refurbishing military vehicles, such as the Humvee. These sorts of military vehicles are constantly overweight, which causes everything from lower fuel economy to increased wear and tear on parts. The Ann Arbor-based startup's technology is promising to make these Humvees lighter and give them the ability to add or subtract armor easily. Richter is also the president of the Michigan Research Institute. The non-profit research incubator, which is based in Ann Arbor, works to help bring more cutting-edge technology into the marketplace. Often that means creating startups that help create more jobs. The defense and aerospace sectors are both areas the Michigan Research Institute has helped create new, local businesses in. Richter answered a handful of questions about Metro Detroit's growing defense sector means to the local economy and where the best opportunities for it are.


City kids: Community partnerships, creative classes

More than 4,000 Detroit kids each year get the benefit of a strong arts education thanks to the College for Creative Studies. Amy Kuras goes into the classroom to see students excited about learning. Marvin Shaouni gets the pictures.


Swapping innovation ideas with Cincinnati

After D:hive's Jeff Aronoff attended a Detroit to Cincinnati city swap organized by Hudson-Webber and Little Things Labs, we asked him to report on the trip. He came back with some valuable takeaways. We're in debt to you, man.


Recycling in Detroit: You made it happen

Recycle Here! is packed every Saturday and there is curbside recycling in Rosedale Park, East English Village and Palmer Woods/University District, servicing nearly 50,000 households. Matthew Naimi says that's only the beginning of the Bee Green movement.


Special Edition: Growing Metro Detroit's aerospace and defense sector

GraviKor, Plex and Patriot Services are firms that are expanding business in the defense and aerospace industry sectors. In this Model D and Metromode Special Edition, Jon Zemke shows us how this business gets done in Metro Detroit.  


The Art of Neighborhood Innovation recapped

Artists skilled at community and business development were our panelists at this standing room only event at one of  MOCAD's largest galleries. Just for you, Cass Corridor Films and Walter Wasacz were there to report it all. 


Freshwater Metropolis speaker series

Join us this Thursday on the campus of Lawrence Technological University to hear from a panel of experts, activists, and business owners about how green and blue infrastructure is transforming our region, and learn what you can do to be a part of this movement.


C'mon down, culinary adventurers: your time is now

April not only means baseball is back for another season. It's also the spring version of Detroit Restaurant Week, 10 days of lovely food and drink options at 19 premier locations. Food specialist Noelle Lothamer sets the table.


UIX: Portraits of urban innovation

One of the many highlights of last week's Urban Innovation Exchange speaker series was a slideshow of portraits taken by Marvin Shaouni. In case you missed it, here it is in living color and occasional black and white. 


Freshwater Metropolis: the underground scene

Matthew Piper attended the Sierra Club's recent "Green Your Neighborhood" forum, where people learned how to decrease water consumption, save money, and reduce the disposal of harmful chemicals into the water system. Here is his report.

Nefertiti Harris

UIX people: Nefertiti Harris and Tarot & Tea

Proprietor of Textures by Nefertiti, a natural hair salon and spa opened as part of the Spiral Collective on Cass and Willis, and the soon to open Tarot & Tea in West Village, Nefertiti Harris is rockin' entrepreneurship, says Tunde Wey.


Bountiful biennial: Get ready for Art X 2013

It's back, bigger and, we're certain, better than ever. The Kresge Foundation's first Art X Detroit in 2011 gave artists a platform to showcase what they do best: create, innovate and perform. Walter Wasacz talks to organizers in this Model D Q&A.


Talking revolution and reinvention with John Gallagher

John Gallagher's stories in the Detroit Free Press are required reading for all who are fascinated in the greater Detroit narrative: how a once dominant global industrial powerhouse retools itself for the future. Walter Wasacz brings the questions. 


Detroit Revitalization Fellow: John Corcoran

From New Jersey, with stops at Cal-Berkely and Georgetown, John Corcoran now serves as manager of real estate projects for TechTown Detroit. He's here because of WSU's Detroit Revitalization Fellows program. Jay Walljasper has the profile.


Opinion: Detroit is the Opportunity of a Generation

In the 14 months that the author has lived in Detroit after moving here from Philadelphia, he has assembled a spirited team of innovators, specialists and changemakers. Jason Lorimer sent us this opinion piece. We're happy to run it.


UIX: Alicia George and Motor City Java House

Alicia George is the owner of Motor City Java House, a neighborhood coffee shop that anchors redevelopment happening in Old Redford on Detroit's northwest side. Tunde Wey of Urban Innovation Exchange tells her story.


Modeshift: Edible hut comes to Osborn neighborhood

Part of Friday's UIX+ArtXDetroit: the Art of Neighborhood Innovation speaker series event is devoted to this project, which our media partners at Modeshift SE-MI Move Together wrote about in this week's newsletter. Click and dig in.


Green City Diaries: Paradise found

A few weeks into spring has lightened our hearts and brightened our spirits, helping us turn our attention to the city's natural environment hiding in plain sight. Matthew Piper finds Detroiters who know the landscape inside and outside. 


Model D TV: Detroit's ghost waters

Detroit abounds with largely unknown waterways: Baby Creek in Delray, May Creek running parallel to train tracks connecting the U.S and Canada, Savoyard Creek that snakes beneath downtown's skyscrapers. Matthew Lewis and Oren Goldenberg team up for this video report.


Belle Isle to 8 Mile: Time to go outside

Legendary urban blues parties, bicycle racing in a battered, still beautiful velodrome, competitive rugby matches and drive-in movies at an art deco masterpiece are all recommended by our authors, the fabulous Linn siblings. Get out there and enjoy.  


UIX: Sarah Lapinski and Motor City Sewing & Design

Founder of the Girlee Collective, which inspired local female artists and designers to become active doers, Sarah Lapinski has always balanced the commercial with the experimental. Tunde Wey tells us what she's up to next.


Detroit Revitalization Fellow: Réna Bradley

She grew up in Southfield, then left the region to attend college at Howard and work as an architect in Washington D.C., where she saw neighborhoods once thought lost rebound to prosperity. Jay Walljasper profiles Réna Bradley. 


Detroit Revitalization Fellow: Dara O'Byrne

Preserving the environment means reviving the city, says an urban planner and designer who relocated from Seattle to Detroit to be part of WSU's revitalization fellows project and live in the West Village. Jay Walljasper profiles Dara O'Byrne. 


'Opportunity to Grow' recapped

An impressive group of creatives, business owners, real estate and logistics innovators, and festival promoters made up our speaker series panel last Wednesday. Matthew Lewis took notes, Oren Goldenberg captured the event on video. 


City kids: Southwest comes alive with arts education

One of the city's most vibrant neighborhoods, Southwest Detroit attracts people with its ethnic food options, its early 20th century residential architecture and, increasingly, for innovative learning projects. Amy Kuras reports from the classroom.    


Global Detroit: Sneaking a peek at talent retention initiative

It is becoming widely known that immigrants in Michigan contribute enormously to the state's economy. Ajooni Sethi walks us through a preview of what could be a landmark initiative to help attract and retain Detroit talent.  


Opinion: A way forward

We asked a handful of Detroit thought leaders and community activists to weigh in on critical matters of the day. This is their space, these are their opinions. This week, Ellen C. Schneider and Kimberly Ross Clayson illuminate what emergency financial management can mean for the city.


UIX+ArtXDetroit: The Art of Neighborhood Innovation

Join us this Friday, April 12 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit for a conversation with local placemakers transforming their neighborhoods through art & design. This one will be special. Register in advance today.


To hell and back with you know who

Over 300 years ago, Detroit founding father Antoine de la Mothe, Seur de Cadillac drove a nasty red dwarf back into the woods with a swift rap of his cane. So begat the legend of the Nain Rouge, who came out of hiding to give Walter Wasacz this exclusive interview.  


Special edition: Mass production alive and well in Detroit

There is a new generation of manufacturers emerging in Detroit. Watches, bicycles, pickles and other environmentally friendly processes and products are being created. Jon Zemke takes a closer look at Shinola, McClure's and Fusion Coolant Systems in this Model D special edition.  


Special edition: Q&A with Joe McClure

Growing up in the metro area, Joe McClure spent much of his childhood making pickles using a family recipe, passed on for generations. He tells Jon Zemke why education and the Detroit brand are critical to the success of his business in this special edition Q&A. 


Model D TV: Growing company Shinola

This high-flying company has 20 employees for watch assembly, and its bicycle division expects to produce 2,000 bikes each year. Shinola has an impressive one-two punch. DETROIT LIVES! shows us how it's all done in this video.

An industrial landmark finds a new purpose in the heart of Lansing

For a century, Lansing's industrial history was reflected in a prominent Michigan Ave. storefront that was built as a lumber mill before housing a GM supplier. As the city itself transformed, so has the building, now home to a decorative artist who is helping to redefine the neighborhood.

From a dying landmark to live music, the Crofoot rocks Downtown Pontiac

Both the building at 1 S. Saginaw in Pontiac and the McGowan family have deep ties to Michigan history. Through their redevelopment of the Crofoot building from abandoned office space to a ballroom, the family proved that the recipe for downtown revitalization is one part historic preservation, one part innovation, and a dash of rock 'n roll.

Industrial CPR: artists and musicians revive abandoned Ypsi warehouses

VGKids set out years ago to serve the screen-printing needs of musicians and other creative businesses. In the process, they've spun out such creative ventures as SPUR Studios and reinvented historic industrial spaces in Ypsilanti.

Dan McGowan at the Crofoot in Pontiac

Old buildings with new uses inspire development

Sometimes it seems historic preservation and economic development are at odds with one another, but innovative business owners across Michigan are proving otherwise. Learn how entrepreneurs in Pontiac, Ypsilanti and Lansing are blending the two to create neighborhood growth.


Detroit Revitalization Fellow: Tom Habitz, Jr.

Growing up in suburbia, Tom Habitz Jr. heard horror stories about Detroit as a kid -- and believed most of them. Now that he lives and work in the interior city he says he'd rather be nowhere else. Jay Walljasper tells his transformative story.  


UIX: Noam Kimelman and Fresh Corner Cafe

Noam Kimelman is co-founder of Fresh Corner Cafe, a business that brings fresh, healthy and nutritious foods to corner stores and gas stations throughout Detroit. Tunde Wey does the taste test in this report. 


People places: Getting neighborly in Southwest Detroit bars

We asked our wet goods expert Nicole Rupersberg to dive into some choice neighborhood joints for her first roundup of classic Detroit bars. She headed southwest for her first taste and came back with some real gems. More to come, we promise.


The Last Temptation of the Nain Rouge

It behooves us, now that we are almost directly in the line of fire of the Marche de Nain Rouge, to invite the ahistoric red devil himself to a proper Model D party the night before. You're invited, too, Detroit dears. Come one, come all. 


Coming soon! Detroit "gazelles" special edition

Read all about it, folks, "gazelles" -- fast companies that double their size over a four-year period -- are popping up in greater downtown Detroit's creative corridor. A special edition dedicated to this exciting trend is on its way.


Gazelles Roam Creative Corridor

In the last few years, there has been a visible influx of creatively based, high growth businesses opening in, moving to or setting up an office in the greater downtown Detroit area. Jon Zemke tracks the exciting progress in this special report.

Matthew Clayson of DC3

Q&A: Matthew Clayson of Detroit Creative Corridor Center

He knows as much about fast companies and creative talent as anyone in town, so Jon Zemke gave Matt Clayson a call for a quick Q&A about "Gazelles" jumping into the local entrepreneurial landscape. Take it away, guys.


Dreaming of owning a Michigan home?

With low mortgage rates and many houses to choose from, there’s never been a better time for state residents to buy their own home.


Model D Speaker Series: Opportunity to Grow

Join us this Wednesday, March 20 for a special evening at the Detroit Mercantile Co. (3434 Russell St.) in Eastern Market to learn more about Detroit's growing economy. Yes, we're talking "gazelles." Sign up today.


All together now: Diving deeper into Model D discussion on race

Race relations top the list of issues that need absolute real talk. There are many who believe Detroit can be a leader in building cooperation and harmony as we rebuild the city. Matthew Lewis reports from a room filled with plenty of believers. 


Green City Diaries: Shear Innovation, Part 2

In this second installment of his journey into the green potential of hair salons, Matthew Piper visits Jen Willemsen at Midtown's Curl Up & Dye, who started making her own products when she couldn't find comparable non-toxic brands.

Torya Blanchard

UIX: Torya Blanchard and Rodin

Rodin, a new enterprise by Good Girls Go to Paris owner Torya Blanchard, is a restaurant and nightclub in Midtown serving whimsical French-inspired cuisine in a stylish urban atmosphere. We like how that sounds. Tunde Wey reports from the dance floor.


Green City Diaries: Shear Innovation, Part 1

Sustainability and hair styling go hand in hand, says Green City diarist Matt Piper, who visits the Social Club Grooming Company this week and Curl Up and Dye next week to find out what they are doing to positively impact the environment. 


Model D TV: McClure's Pickles

Our Growing Companies video crew stops into the newish manufuacturing facility of McClure's Pickles on the Detroit-Hamtramck border. Business looks to be booming on the assembly line. Take it from here DETROIT LIVES!


North End neighborhood rising

Art, farms, and community engagement are helping revitalize a neighborhood snuggled between Midtown, New Center, Boston-Arden Park and Hamtramck. Dennis Archambault reports on what's next for the old North End.


UIX: Michael Davis and Hamtown Farms

He started Hamtown Farms, a plot of land nestled between Kowalski Sausage, Lumpkin St. and an alley, after eating a strange-tasting fruit with the equally strange name of paw-paw. Tunde Wey introduces us to Michael Davis.


Detroit Revitalization Fellow: Marcus Clarke

Although he'd never visited Detroit before applying for the fellowship and moving here, Marcus Clarke was always intrigued by the techno and house dance music scenes here. Definitely our kind of guy, says Jay Walljasper. 


Oscar sugar coming for Rodriguez?

We don't want to jinx this doc about an elusive Cass Corridor troubadour tipped to be the next big thing over 40 years ago. But odds are that 'Searching for Sugar Man' will win an academy award on Sunday. Walter Wasacz meditates about it all.


Belle Isle to 8 Mile, the Model D journey begins

When we think of 'Detroit insiders' we can't come up with a better example than the Linns, a family with roots in no less than five neighborhoods lived in over seven generations. We welcome this new series by the authors of 'Belle Isle to 8 Mile.' 

Tawnya Clark and the Batata Shop

UIX: Tawnya Clark and the Batata Shop

Tawnya Clark is owner and operator of the Batata Shop, a small artisan food business that specializes in comfort foods made with sweet potatoes. That includes waffles, pancakes, biscuits and more, reports Tunde Wey. 


Urban trailblazing: New series looks for trends before they happen

We begin with a forward-thinking critique of Detroit Future City by urbanist-preservationist-Detroit advocate Francis Grunow, who, by day, is a public policy consultant for New Solutions Group. By night, yes, he'll be burning the critical midnight oil for Model D.


City kids: Academic rigor, commitment make Cristo Rey tick

This Catholic college prep high school in Southwest Detroit stresses an eight year educational arc -- four at Cristo Rey and four more at the university level -- as its measure of success. Amy Kuras finds a story built on a foundation of hard work. 


Detroit, fevered factory of the imagination

Lubricate your mind and your ass will follow, to paraprase the erotic horse-man puppet whose picture shares this space and was begat by horror chanteuse Kathe Koja, who whets our appetites for a smart, sexy Valentine's Day (and night). 


UIX: Ann Perrault and Avalon Bakery

Ann Perrault is co-owner of the pioneering Avalon International Breads, which built success by using the motto "Eat Well, Do Good" and by practicing fundamentally sound business. Tunde Wey reports from W. Willis St. 


Erotic city, come alive

A successful social entrepreneur long before any such thing existed, Jerry Peterson has been called the most important Detroit subculture figure of the past 25 years. Nicole Rupersburg gets an earful and a preview of this month's Dirty Show.   


Detroit Revitalization Fellow: Michael Forsyth

He's been in a state of Detroit excitement and discovery ever since his band played Harpo's a few years ago. Now, Michael Forsyth is working with the DEGC on the Shoppes at Gateway project. Jay Walljasper tells the rest of the story.   


Model D Speaker series: Come together

When it comes to the city's changing demographics, especially when it comes to race, are you open to listening and learning? If you're a new (or lifelong) resident or business owner in Detroit, this month's speaker series event is for you.


UIX: Sharlonda Buckman and Detroit Parent Network

Sharlonda Buckman leads this parent advocacy, training and support organization working to empower Detroit parents and primary caregivers to secure quality education for their children. Tunde Wey with the profile.


Detroit, blue city

Detroit Future City findings see long-range solutions to aging urban infrastructure issues, including how to best use one of the city's most ubiquitous resources -- water. Matthew Lewis puts his wading boots on for this report.


Time is on their side: Shinola manufactures instant vintage

This unique New Center company has 20 employees for watch assembly, and its bicycle division expects to produce 2,000 bikes annually. Leather goods will also be produced. Dennis Archambault gets the grand tour. 


Green City Diaries: Investing in sustainability

When President Obama visited Detroit in December, he stopped at Detroit Diesel to announce a new $100 million investment in advanced, environmentally sound, manufacturing. Matthew Piper reports from the far West Side. 


UIX people: Leor Barak and Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue

Leor Barak is the driving force behind the Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue, which has a mission to connect Jews and non-Jews to each other -- and to Detroit. Tunde Wey of UIX has the story. 


IdeaLab 2013 recapped

Detroit social innovators and entrepreneurs were day tripping in Ann Arbor last Friday, preaching what they practice to students at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business. Matthew Lewis reports from the first row.


Global Detroit: Immigration reform now

The year ahead is shaping up as crucially important for immigration in the U.S., and Southeast Michigan sits in a unique position to benefit from such reforms, says Global Detroit's Ajooni Sethi.


We declare it: 2013 in Detroit year of civic engagement

Declare Detroit's Brad Frost gets inspired by the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr. and calls for a year of action in the city. It begins with circling dates for 2013 elections. We can definitely get on with that idea. 


Tasty trends: Digging into what's next in Detroit food and drink

Some awesome eating and drinking destinations opened in 2012 with many more lined up for the months ahead. Noelle Lothamer plans to keep us in the loop as new kitchens and bars start serving. Bon appetit, everyone. 


Detroit Revitalization Fellow Allyson McLean

It took leaving Detroit to really get to know the city, says Allyson McLean, who grew up in Troy and studied abroad before landing jobs in Pittsburgh and Washington D.C. Jay Walljasper tells her coming home story.  


Urban Exchange: Trading Ideas with Toronto

Model D's Claire Nelson and Hopscotch Detroit social innovator Ajooni Sethi go north to share the power of play as a tool for civic engagement with our Canadian comrades at Yonge St. Sounds like some serious fun was had in the Queen City.


UIX TV: Andy Didorosi and Detroit Bus Company

He's the social entrepreneur behind the Detroit Bus Company, a tech-savvy, biofuel-powered neighborhood transit revolution. Andy Didorosi tells us how he sees big changes happening in Detroit in this video by DETROIT LIVES!


Downtown lifestyle rising at Broderick Tower

Jay Hack walks everywhere he needs to go downtown, for food and drink, for religious services, for sporting events - though his business is in the suburbs, where most of his friends remain. Dennis Archambault reports from the tower.


Framing Detroit Future City: Let's get started

We asked innovation & jobs editor Jon Zemke to come up with some key initial takeaways from last week's Detroit Future City framework launch. There will be more in the months ahead as the project moves from idea to execution phase.    


UIX people and projects: Liz Blondy and Canine to Five

She is the owner of Canine to Five, a business on Cass Avenue offering day care, grooming and cage-free attended overnight boarding, and a co-founder of catalytic indie merchant group Open City. Take a bow, Liz Blondy. 


Model D TV: LGBT leader of color Alfredo Smith

The boy who wanted to be a backup dancer for Janet Jackson ended up a man who advocates on behalf of transgender rights and HIV and substance abuse prevention. Video producer Tony Eggert shines a light on Alfredo Smith.  


Thank you, come again

As retail competition grows in Detroit, customer service is critical, say the folks at Open City, a group formed to share ideas about attaining business success. Matthew Lewis reports from our December speaker series event. 


From Eastern Europe to Eastern Market

A background in finance and urban planning prepared Detroit Revitalization Fellow Jela Ellefson perfectly for her role as Grants and Special Projects Coordinator for the Eastern Market Corp. Jay Walljasper makes the introduction. 


How we spent our winter vacation

Some of us traveled, some of us got cozy with a book or two, others ventured downtown to see the glittering, metal 'D" drop on New Year's Eve. Now we're all ready to rock Detroit anew for 2013, says Walter Wasacz.  


UIX TV: Peggy Brennan of Green Garage

Thanks to Peggy (and husband Tom) Brennan, Midtown's Green Garage has become a community hub for people dedicated to a more sustainable way of living. DETROIT LIVES! gets up close and personal in this video profile.


From vacant to vibrant: A coalition rises

Educating community activists about the resources and best practices available for improving the quality of life in Detroit neighborhoods is the mission of the Vacant Property Coalition. Jon Zemke talks local empowerment with the group's Janai Gilmore.


Liquid assets: We begin a series on the water that sustains us all

Did you know we all live in a watershed, are surrounded by over a fifth of the world's freshwater supply and interact, one way or another, with the Great Lakes basin every day? Matthew Lewis shares those factoids and more in our new blue-green infrastructure series. 


Green City Diaries: Best of the year that was

'Tis the season for reflection, among everything else. As the first year of the Green City Diaries comes to a close and a second year starts taking shape, writer Matthew Piper deviates from his formula to write a diary entry of his own.


Model D's best pictures of 2012

When it comes to shooting and illustrating each issue of Model D, we count on the keen eyes of photographer Marvin Shaouni. We say cheers to you, mate, and happily publish the best of your work in 2012.


Creative life is how you make it

Its founder sees the Mt. Elliott Makerspace as nothing short of a place for transforming lives, hoping to break cycles of poverty and racism, and to hand people tools for determining their own future. Amy Kuras has the story.


Have yourself a merry little

The holiday season is already is in full swing here at Model D, but we're going to take it up a notch the next two weeks with family and friends. Stay warm and cozy and we'll see you back here Jan. 8.


Model D goes mobile: Detroit on the move

Model D's Speaker Series heads to Ann Arbor this Friday for our third IdeaLab collaboration with the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business. The first two years were awesome. We expect nothing less this time. 


Model D TV: On the avenue with the Detroit Lions

The launch of a new neighborhood retail initiative led by the Detroit Lions and local retail contest Hatch Detroit brought our video team DETROIT LIVES! to the Avenue of Fashion for this special episode of Model D TV. 

The Artists’ Touch: How creatives’ investments in upper floor housing built a neighborhood

There’s something different about the Eastern Market neighborhood of Detroit. It’s evident today in the creative investment happening on Gratiot just north of Russell, where a beautiful Art Deco building is being brought back to life, inside and out. The project continues a trend that began on the same block more than 30 years ago when upper floor housing first made an appearance in the neighborhood. Now, the residents living in Eastern Market make the mixed-use area uniquely vibrant, spurring increased redevelopment.

A downtown turnaround: Portland property owners, city and state partner to spur growth

Downtown Portland shrinks vacancy rates and boosts investment when public and private partners find a way to overcome a major barrier to growth. A longtime store owner recounts how a public boardwalk, a state housing program and local business owners worked together to pave the way for upper floor housing rehabs to help transform the downtown neighborhood.

Downtown living key piece of the downtown growth puzzle in Manistee

A rush of upper floor housing rehabs in Downtown Manistee laid the groundwork for half a decade of growth. Two new artists, business owners and downtown residents add to the developing, year-round community in Northern Michigan.

The boardwalk in Portland made upper floor housing possible for more buildings

Upper floor housing rehabs spur neighborhood growth

When shopping in your favorite downtown store, ever wonder what's upstairs? For decades, the answer has been "not much" for many Michigan cities. Take a look at how that trend is changing across the state, in communities like Manistee, Portland and Detroit's Eastern Market, where local property owners are redefining downtowns by reviving upper floor residences. 


Take our survey

Throughout the year, we've been doing stories that focus on LGBT issues, immigration, transformational change and civil liberties for all. Take a minute and fill out this survey to tell us what you think.  


UIX TV: Dave Mancini and Supino Pizzeria

Zagat's just named his business the number one eatery in the Detroit metro area, some achievement for a tiny storefront on Russell St. in Eastern Market. Meet Dave Mancini, the man behind Supino Pizzeria.


Pragmatic agent of change, Paul Hillegonds

As a state legislator, Paul Hillegonds gained a reputation for seeking old-fashioned compromise among his peers. Now he's doing the same in Detroit, working with the ACLU of Michigan on racial equity issues. Profile by Dennis Archambault. 


Talking energy and environment with the State's Valerie Brader

Affordable energy, reliable energy, and protecting our environment were part of the governor's recent 'Ensuring our future' message. Veronica Gracia-Wing digs into the details with the governor's deputy legal council and senior policy advisor.   


Model D TV: Android Industries and Focus: HOPE

Good partnerships are made by those who can find ways to benefit from collaborative efforts. That is the case with Android Industries and Focus: HOPE. Video report by DETROIT LIVES!


Talking with cheeky founders of Michigan Needs More Parking

Finding places to park cars, lots of cars, is crazy-serious business for most Detroiters. Chene Park and Minock Park have your back. They believe, and they want Francis Grunow, and you, dear reader, to believe in the ugly-beauty of parking your vehicle(s).    


No property left behind recapped

A standing room crowd squeezed into a pop-up space in Lafayette Park to listen to members of Loveland Technologies, county officials and other land reuse experts talk about tax reverted Detroit properties. Matthew Lewis took a bunch of notes.


Model D Speaker Series: Open City

Right on time for the holiday season, join us Monday, Dec. 17, 6 p.m. at Cliff Bell's downtown to hear from Detroit proprietors who are known for their stellar customer rapport and inviting spaces. 


UIX projects: Fresh Media Group

This group led by Adriel Thornton is the parent company of Fresh Corp and Wink. Fresh Corp produces, promotes and markets events, with an expertise in electronic music culture. While Wink provides exposure for queer culture in Detroit.


Hello Global Detroit: China is calling

We bet you'd like to know that rather than losing local and regional jobs overseas, Michigan offers the specialized talent right here that Chinese companies require to compete globally. Ajooni Sethi tells us what's behind this reversal of fortune.  


Model D TV: LGBT leader of color Roland Leggett

After moving back to Michigan from Chicago, where he worked for Obama for America, Roland Leggett was inspired to help change the state's comparitively regressive LGBT legislation, first while working at the ACLU and now at Equality Michigan.


From us to you: Our holiday shopping guide

Hark! 'Tis the season to show your loved ones just how much you care. 'Tis also a great time to show some city love by spending your dollars locally. We came up with a list of some cool retailers where your love will go a long way.


Green City Diaries: Good food, the new frontier

In this month's entry, Matt Piper gets people thinking about the empowering simplicity of health, quality, freshness and convenience when it comes to the food we eat. Not to mention advocacy for a better way of life. 


Come all ye faithful readers to Noel Night open house at Model D

We're having a party within the joyous and sprawling Noel Night festivities in Midtown this Saturday, Dec. 1. And you're invited. Come check out our HQ, meet some of our staff and contributors. Good times promised to all.   


Revitalization fellow uses her own Detroit experience working with city's youth

Growing up on the Northwest side, Regina Ann Campbell got the total Detroit experience. It's that personal history that helps her connect with young people as director of the Milwaukee Junction Business Center in the North End. Profile by Jay Walljasper.  


UIX people and projects: Eric Giles and Sunday Dinner Company

Owner and executive chef Eric Giles of the Sunday Dinner Company knows what Southern comfort food is all about. Come hungry and discover a place that's as much social enterprise as it is a restaurant. 


Model D & UIX present: "No property left behind"

Join us tomorrow, Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 6 p.m. at Cafe Con Leche's new Lafayette Park pop-up cafe for an Urban Innovation Exchange forum led by Jerry Paffendorf of Why Don't We Own This? and Loveland Technologies.


Talk of the TechTown

Detroit is home to the third highest concentration of design professionals in the U.S., seemingly attracts entrepreneurs by the minute and has one of the best platforms for turning ideas into companies. Curtis Johnson tells us why TechTown is one of the catalysts for this growth.


Model D TV: Growing company Inland Press

This downtown company's century old tradition of investing in people, equipment and new technologies is impressive to say the least. DETROIT LIVES! takes us for a behind the scenes look at what makes Inland Press tick.


Pop goes the West Village

A distinct neighborhood with character, Detroit's West Village is an East Side residential gem, filled with early 20th century houses and apartment buildings. Now, commercial development is beginning to pop up. Matthew Piper gives us a quick tour.   


UIX people and projects: Ajooni Sethi and Wedge Detroit

A hopscotch course on city sidewalks from Midtown to downtown was Wedge Detroit's first community design project, something the firm's Ajooni Sethi says "invites people to see resources of the city in a different way." Tunde Wey chalks up the words.  


Happy Thanksgiving, Detroit, we'll see you in two weeks

Eat some great food, drink some great drinks and enjoy the next couple of weeks without us. We'll look for you at the parade or at some groovy after-party. Be safe, you'll see us again Nov. 27. 


Did the Gories save Detroit?

Yes, indeed. Contributor Jim Boyle makes a strong case that garage rock and Detroit techno - social and cultural energy drivers at home, international commodities everywhere else - started the city's revival in the 1990s, maybe even sooner. Let your hair down, people, and read on. 


Better Buildings: Preserving Midtown residential gem with green energy

Erik Nordin, who partnered with his brother on design work at the Madison Building and 24 Grille, has made a century old building his project made from passion. Amelia Kanan tells us how renewable resources play a part in the story of the Charles.


Model D speaker series recapped: Making government work

Last week's wide-ranging discussion on participating in the democratic process prepared us perfectly for today's election. Claire Nelson captures the enthusiasm in words, Tony Eggert in pictures. 


A city lover’s guide to America’s most underrated city

Jay Walljasper tours Detroit through the eyes of the revitalization fellows he's profiled and comes back with an up close and personal look at the city.


UIX opinion: Vote, Detroit, vote

Vince Keenan of Publius says DIY Detroit is on borrowed time. Instead of working around local government people need to do it together with city officials. That starts by voting in Tuesday's election. That's today, by the way. 


Detroit Revitalization Fellow: Katy Wyerman

Jay Walljasper introduces us to Katy Wyerman, who combines a planning and economics background in her job at Non-profit NextEnergy, which supports the City of Detroit with implementation of green technologies.

Ramona Gilgor with Detroit Institute of Technology students

Green City Diaries: Sustainability, the next generation

Detroit city kids are into transformational change, getting turned on by green living science projects, taking positive ownership of their own neighborhoods. Matthew Piper likes what he's hearing. Bonus video by Matt Dibble. 


Art, immigration and freedom for all souls

El Grito takes place at Freedom House, the former convent of Ste. Anne de Detroit Catholic Church, on the Mexican celebration of El Día de los Muertos. Timothy Boscarino reports for our media partner, Mode Shift: Move Together.


Model D TV: LGBT leader of color Lance Hicks

The need for more active roles for LGBT youth is behind Lance Hicks' newest project, Detroit Represent!, which he cofounded last summer. Videographer Tony Eggert and Andrea Poteet of Between the Lines tell his story.


UIX TV: John George and Motor City Blight Busters

John George, founder of Motor City Blight Busters, has positively impacted 1,500 houses in the city with 120,000 volunteers logging almost 700,000 hours. Mighty impressive. Video by DETROIT LIVES!


City kids: How proactive restorative practices benefit all

Creating a better environment for learning, restorative educational practices involves everyone inside school walls: students, food service staff, teachers, social workers, and principals. Melinda Clynes shows us how it's done.


Detroit Revitalization Fellow: Celeste Layne

Her vision is that we need better links to the Riverwalk, bike lanes protected from motor vehicles and a combination of good traffic flow and lively street life. We couldn't agree more, Celeste Layne.  


UIX people and projects: Wayne Ramocan and the Osborn Neighborhood Alliance

Wayne Ramocan is program coordinator at the Osborn Neighborhood Alliance, part of the Skillman Good Neighborhoods Initiative. Tunde Wey of the Urban Innovation Exchange gets the story.


UIX TV: Hygienic Dress League

Steve and Dorota Coy, who recently appeared in the documentary film Detropia, speak about their public art as Hygienic Dress League and what they see as its impact on the community. Video by DETROIT LIVES!


Hey, neighbor: Hamtramck arts fest is community love affair

Daylong event features live music on residential porches, studio crawling, edgy art viewing, and walkable neighborhood charm. Organizers Steve Hughes and Steve Panton tell Walter Wasacz why the Hamtramck art space is the place.


Detroit SOUP: Stirring up genius in the North End

The monthly SOUP dinner entertains ideas on how to make Detroit a better place. Now heading for new digs in Detroit's North End, director Amy Kaherl tells us how you can help, and breaks down other hot news in her report. 


Global Detroit: 'Green Card Stories' brings human touch to immigrant experience

Join Global Detroit to meet authors and immigration attorneys Stephen Yale-Loehr and Laura Danielson at a cocktail event, talk, and book signing this Thursday, 5 - 7 p.m., at the Westin Book-Cadillac.

Lafayette Towers-250

Mr. Mies' neighborhood

New book contains insightful essays, interviews with current and former residents, arresting portrait photography by local photographers, as well as an abundance of historic images, says our high rise specialist, Matt Piper.


Hatched: La Feria using $50k prize to open tapas kitchen on Cass

Food writer Noelle Lothamer gets a sneak peek at classic Spamish ala carte dishes like empanadas, tortilla de patatas, montaditos, salmorejo, and croquetas. Marvin Shaouni snaps some tasty pictures.  


Model D TV: Growing company Hercules & Hercules

West Side company Hercules & Hercules works individually with clients to develop sustainable approaches to building maintenance. DETROIT LIVES! takes us there in this episode of Model D TV.


Model D Speaker Series: Making Government Work in Detroit

With the Nov. 6 election right around the corner, let’s gather Oct. 29 at the U-M Detroit Center to talk about how we can make government more effective for all. Seating is limited.


Detroit's new bicycle economy

Ideas for a non-motorized future are rolling forward, cycling businesses are forming and improving the quality of life. This looks like another "wow" Detroit enterprise trend gaining traction. Dennis Archambault reports from the fast lane.


Detroit Revitalization Fellow: Matteo Passalacqua

A real estate manager and developer for the Vanguard Community Development Corporation, Matteo Passalacqua believes in the future of Detroit's North End. Jay Walljasper makes the introductions.


UIX people and projects: Rebecca Salminen Witt and Greening of Detroit

Rebecca Salminen Witt is president of Greening of Detroit, a nonprofit whose mission is to guide and inspire others to create a greener city through planting and educational programs, environmental leadership, advocacy, and community building.


Publisher's notebook: Pop-up culture and the new wave of walkable retail

Detroit's Village people, envied for their gorgeous homes a stone's skip away from the river, have long wished for their own retail district. Good things are starting to develop this fall, there and in other key neighborhoods, says Claire Nelson.


All eyes on the ArtPrize

Detroit artistry was a clear winner at the 2012 version of ArtPrize, held this past weekend in Grand Rapids. Tommy Allen was on the scene taking notes and pictures, and meeting creative neighborhood catalysts, Gina Reichert and Mitch Cope.


UIX people and projects: Kelli Kavanaugh and Tour de Troit

Kelli Kavanaugh is co-director of the annual Tour de Troit and co-owner of retail bicycle shop, Wheelhouse Detroit. She believes that non-motorized transportation is the future of the Motor City. So do we.


Neighborhood lights: Organizers talk about Midtown's DLECTRICITY

Six years in the making, this festival will literally light up the cultural center this weekend with visual and audio delights. Marc Schwartz, Marsha Miro and Sue Mosey sneak us a preview in this Q&A with Walter Wasacz.


Transportation Speaker Series recapped

Both rooms at Great Lakes Coffee were standing room only for last week's panel discussion on transportation and business development. Walter Wasacz found a spot against the wall, where he took in one smart, dandy conversation.


Detroit Revitalization Fellow: Abir Ali

West Side native Abir Ali moved back from Chicago and became a Program Fellow for the Hudson-Webber Foundation, applying her architecture and project management skills to revitalization initiatives in Detroit. Jay Walljasper tells her story.


Green City Diaries in pictures

Matthew Piper has been producing the Green City Diaries since the beginning of the year. This installment collects the best of the series' visual work by his project partner, Marvin Shaouni.


Model D TV: Growing company Atlas Wholesale Foods

Next up in our series of growing companies in Detroit is Atlas Wholesale Foods, located on the East Side on St. Jean St. Video by DETROIT LIVES!


Coming out: Undocumented students chase American DREAM

Local activists launched 1Michigan, bringing attention to the challenges of immigrant youth and advocating for the passage of the federal DREAM act. Amy Kuras reports.  


Model D TV: LGBT leader of color Kibibi Blount Dorn

Before working with the Detroit Food Policy Council, Kibibi Blount Dorn assisted the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network and earned a Master's of Urban Planning from Wayne State University.


UIX projects: Detroit Asian Youth (DAY)

This multicultural group educates youth about national and local Asian-American history using community projects to help them understand the connection between Detroit and their heritage.


Detroit Restaurant Week: We're giving away $50 gift certificates

Organizers from Paxahau Productions and Model D are once again combining on a Detroit Restaurant Week promotion that is simply too fine to ignore.

Growing tech company brings human touch to downtown startup scene

Are You a Human started as a student project in an Ann Arbor incubator before joining a cluster of innovative small businesses in downtown Detroit's suddenly thriving M@dison Building. 

Lansing biz brings design and development practice down to earth

The founders of Gravity Works started with two key ingredients: passion and talent. Next came a physical home in Lansing's Old Town and a business plan that included plenty of community engagement.

Welcoming environment draws growing biotech business to downtown Kalamazoo

Leaving the incubator and finding a visible place in the community can be a big step for a fledgling company. Tolera Therapeutics moved into Kalamazoo's historic Haymarket district, and it's glad it took that step.


Business evolution: From incubation to visibility

So what happens to startups and other small enterprises after they're fully baked in an entrepreneurial incubator? That's what we set out to find in this special report from three Michigan cities - Detroit, Lansing and Kalamazoo. 


Detroit Revitalization Fellows: Fascination with the city

In our latest installment in a series of stories on a group of scholars, doers and makers in Detroit here to make a difference, Jay Walljasper profiles, well, a bunch of people with a growing attachment to this fascinating place. 


Warming up to green energy

Thanks to the Recovery Act, a few local programs are recruiting unemployed residents, training them with sustainable construction skills and then helping them find work; all for free. Amelia Kanan reports with words and pictures.


UIX TV: Scott Alan Davis of Vanguard CDC

The North End has been hard-hit by decades of disinvestment. The Vanguard CDC works each day advancing education, community and economic development in the neighborhood. Video by DETROIT LIVES!


Detroit Design on a grand scale

In only its second year, the Detroit Design Festival has become one of the city's top must-see, must-do happenings. That sounds great, but organizers Matt Clayson and Melinda Anderson tell Walter Wasacz its longterm potential is even greater.