Next Article in Journal
What Can We Learn from the Household Electricity Survey?
Next Article in Special Issue
Urban Blue Space and “The Project of the Century”: Doing Justice on the Seattle Waterfront and for Local Residents
Previous Article in Journal
Green Retrofitting Skyscrapers: A Review
Previous Article in Special Issue
Fourth World Theory: The Evolution of . . .
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Buildings 2014, 4(4), 711-736; doi:10.3390/buildings4040711

Detroit Works Long-Term Planning Project: Engagement Strategies for Blending Community and Technical Expertise

1
Max Bond Center on Design for the Just City, Spitzer School of Architecture, The City College of New York, 141 Convent Avenue, New York, NY 10031, USA
2
Grassroots Solutions, 2828 University Avenue SE, Suite #150, Minneapolis, MN 55414, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 February 2014 / Revised: 24 September 2014 / Accepted: 25 September 2014 / Published: 16 October 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Designing Spaces for City Living)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1199 KB, uploaded 17 October 2014]   |  

Abstract

In January 2013, civic leaders, community stakeholders, and residents came together to release Detroit Future City: 2012 Detroit Strategic Framework Plan, a guiding blueprint for transforming Detroit from its current state of population loss and excessive vacancy into a model for the reinvention of post-industrial American cities. Three years prior, the U.S. Census had reported that the city had lost 24% of its population over the last decade and had experienced a 20% increase in vacant and abandoned property, bringing total vacancy to roughly the size of Manhattan. In addition to physical and economic challenges, Detroiters had also acknowledged significant barriers to effective civic engagement. Foremost among these barriers were a profound sense of immobilization, planning fatigue, and a general perception of cynicism about planning and engagement efforts. These challenges were compounded by historic racial dynamics and tension. This case study elaborates on the comprehensive and innovative civic engagement executed in a citywide planning process called the Detroit Works Project, which took place from late 2010 through late 2012. For the citywide planning process to be successful and sustainable, civic leaders and project funders committed to a planning initiative that would be different from previous efforts, in large part because the “owners” of the process would be diverse and inclusive across all community sectors. The case study, written by three of the key consultants from the project, describes four key civic engagement strategies deployed in the creation of the strategic framework: (1) addressing profound challenges of culture, race, and politics by deliberately building trust; (2) elevating community expertise by fostering a sense of ownership of the process; (3) blending technical and community expertise; and (4) viewing civic engagement as an ongoing two-way conversation rather than a series of large-scale episodic events. This article elaborates on important lessons that other communities might learn from Detroit’s planning initiative in relation to these strategies. It concludes with a brief summary of the results and implications of the civic engagement process. View Full-Text
Keywords: Detroit; Detroit future city; civic engagement; community expertise; community; participation; stakeholder; civic infrastructure Detroit; Detroit future city; civic engagement; community expertise; community; participation; stakeholder; civic infrastructure
Figures

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Griffin, T.L.; Cramer, D.; Powers, M. Detroit Works Long-Term Planning Project: Engagement Strategies for Blending Community and Technical Expertise. Buildings 2014, 4, 711-736.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Buildings EISSN 2075-5309 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top