Detroit Green Corridor Initiative

Detroit Future City partnered with The Greening of Detroit to plant more than 300 trees along the Southfield freeway and the surrounding neighborhood. The projected annual benefits of these trees as they mature are:

– 1,018,000 gallons of storm water removed each year (equal to 1.5 Olympic-size swimming pool)

– 220,925 pounds of CO2 sequestered per year (equal to removing 18 cars from the road)

– Environmental Service Value = $14,425 per year

Check out this video of the Green Corridor Initiative below:


Meeting of the Minds Final Report

Meeting of the Minds is a global knowledge sharing platform based in San Francisco, Cal. The purpose of MotM is to bring together chosen key urban sustainability and technology stakeholders and gather them around a common platform in ways that help build lasting alliances. In 2014, the annual summit was held at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. This summit brought together 375 opinion-shapers, policy-makers, leading thinkers and innovators from all over the world for 2+ days of intensive immersion in thought leadership and industry development.

Click here to read the Meeting of the Minds 2014 Final Report.

In the Media

Kresge to help fund the dreams of Detroit neighborhoods

The Kresge Foundation will announce today a new $5-million initiative to help fund projects in neighborhoods across Detroit whose residents may feel left out of the reimagining occurring in the central city.

The three-year program — Kresge Innovative Projects: Detroit — will award $50,000-$100,000 to each of seven to 10 grassroots groups whose projects are shovel-ready and could transform their neighborhoods. Kresge also will give smaller grants to help other groups plan projects they then could apply for funding to complete.

“We’ve certainly done bits and pieces of this over the years,” said Kresge President and CEO Rip Rapson. “But it just seemed to us that with the conversation that has gone over the last number of years about how Detroit is reimagining and reclaiming its place in the world, so often the story passed right over the neighborhoods.

“So much attention is being paid to Woodward and downtown. It just seemed to us that we really needed to remind people that the real long-term energy of the city is rooted in residents and that we can build infrastructure and scaffolding of all different kinds, but at the end of the day, if residents don’t have the tools and resources they need to determine their own trajectory, this is all built on sand.”

The announcement comes as corporations, developers and foundations pour hundreds of millions into the city’s center to build projects ranging from a new hockey arena to the M-1 rail line — and as city and state officials work hard to move Detroit through bankruptcy court.

Kresge, a $3-billion Troy-based national foundation, has been a large part of the solution, spending millions on neighborhood projects already: $830,000, for instance, on the Vernor Avenue Corridor in District 6 (southwest Detroit); $1 million on the Detroit Grocers’ Fund to help improve neighborhood stores; $1.6 million on Detroit Future City; $1.1 million to the Detroit Land Bank Authority; $1 million-plus to ARISE Detroit to support its neighborhood transformation projects, and $1 million for police cars and emergency service vehicles.

Kresge approved $122 million in new awards and paid $144 million in existing grants nationwide in 2013 in the arts, education, community development, the environment, culture and human services. Thirty million dollars went to Detroit, more than any other single city. Additionally, Detroit got grants from Kresge’s $30-million Woodward Corridor Investment Fund.

“It’s far, far more than anywhere else we spend money,” Rapson said.

Kresge officials said they are not limiting which groups can apply.

“We want as broad a spectrum as there are neighborhood organizations and institutions to become involved,” Rapson said. “We certainly don’t want people to waste their time, but this is one of those times where you don’t want to predetermine where the creativity and energy come from.”

He said he wants residents to tap into things that make their neighborhoods their own, whether it’s new spaces, new business complexes or a particular issue, such as education. The larger projects must be completed within 18 months; the other plans must be submitted by August to be eligible for additional funding.

“When I was in Minneapolis, I worked for the mayor and one thing we came up with were neighborhood learning centers,” Rapson said. “They began as a concept called Parents’ Place where you could go have a cup of coffee, take a class, have your kids participate in some interesting things. I think we have the opportunity for residents to create mini-anchors in their neighborhoods. One really hopes that people will find ways to build community cohesion and identity.”

Rapson recalls being at a national conference recently with a woman who visits Detroit every six months.

“‘It’s like visiting a different city every time,'” he said she told him. “So we’re really going to throw the gates wide open and see what comes in.”

So what does this three-year Kresge pilot really mean, a project that will distribute $1.5 million in the first year, beginning with awards to be announced in March?

It means that neighborhood residents have an opportunity to evolve, to do the things that they’ve wanted to do rather than what the city officials or corporate execs decide for them.

Kresge to help fund the dreams of Detroit neighborhoods
Rochelle Riley, October 20, 2014, Detroit Free Press


October 2014 E-Newsletter: DFC’s Neighborhood Priority: Improving the Quality of Life in Neighborhoods

The DFC Strategic Framework recommends a variety of ways to strengthen Detroit’s neighborhoods by celebrating existing assets and strengths, while addressing specific challenges. The goal is to improve our quality of life in Detroit, with more sustainable, inviting, affordable, and diverse places to live.

The DFC Implementation Office’s Neighborhoods Priority focuses on stabilization through efforts to eliminate blight, improve public safety and improve neighborhood-level quality of place. Additionally, through our civic engagement work, neighborhood stabilization is a strong component of all DFC Implementation Office priorities – economic growth, land use, city systems, and land and building assets.

To successfully catalyze the recommendations in the DFC Strategic Framework, the DFC Implementation Office executes initiatives and equips community partners with tools and opportunities to help them fuel their future neighborhoods of the future city.

Below are some examples of DFC’s work and the work of our partners that are helping to stabilize our neighborhoods. These examples demonstrate how Detroit’s diverse range of neighborhoods can be experienced, celebrated, impacted and supported.



Detroit Future City Takes Part in Detroit Weekend of Service Saturday


The Detroit Future City (DFC) Implementation Office, T.R.I.P USA, Arise Detroit, Detroit Housing Commission, Kendall Park Community and Wayne County have partnered for a Detroit Weekend of Service.  Volunteers from across the country will engage in meaningful service projects in four locations across the city of Detroit to improve the quality of life in Detroit neighborhoods.


The Detroit Future City clean-up and beautification activities will take place at Skinner Playfield on Grayton Street near Edwin C. Denby High School.


Last school year DFC formed an ongoing partnership with Denby High School where the DFC Strategic Framework has been incorporated into several core classes and capstone project for graduating Denby seniors.   Learning about DFC in their classes inspired the students to take a hands-on approach to reimaging and revitalizing the community around their school.


Saturday, October 11, 2014


Other Detroit Weekend of Service locations in Detroit are:

  • Kendall Park Community – 1223 Sorrento Street 
  • George Evans Recreational Center13950 Joseph Campau
  • Rouge Park – 8049 Spinoza Drive



T.R.I.P. (Travel. Rebuild. Inspire. Progress.)

T.R.I.P. USA ( is a 501(c) (3), non-profit organization that helps rebuild underserved communities in need. The group consists of concerned citizens from across the country who combine their love of travel and community service for the good of improving lives. The mission of the organization is to travel to predominantly low-income, African-American communities to help rebuild neighborhoods and improve the quality of life for local residents. T.R.I.P. has hosted volunteer-vacations and weekend service projects in several cities including: Atlanta, GA; Columbus, OH; Los Angeles, CA; Miami, FL; New Orleans, LA; New York City; NY; Oakland, CA; and Washington, DC; and has a network of more than 1,000 volunteers across the country.

In the Media

WWJ Special: Charlie Langton Talks Detroit Post-Bankruptcy With Esteemed Panel

Detroit’s Historic bankruptcy is nearing an end. But there are many questions regarding the future of the city.

Closing arguments in Detroit’s historic bankruptcy case will likely come within the next couple of weeks. Judge Steven Rhodes, who is hearing arguments in the case, is seeking assurances that elected leaders will put one billion dollars into improving services — and will be able to successfully run Detroit post-bankruptcy.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan testified in federal court Monday that the city has a feasible strategy with the resources it needs to successfully emerge from bankruptcy protection.

WWJ’s Charlie Langton and co-host Mark Lee from the Lee Group spoke about the future of Detroit with Former Detroit City Council Member (and executive director of Detroit Future City)  Ken Cockrel, Karen Dumas — former Chief of Communications and External Affairs for Dave Bing — and Sandy Baruah, President of the Detroit Regional Chamber.

WWJ Special: Charlie Langton Talks Detroit Post-Bankruptcy With Esteemed Panel
Charlie Langton, October 6, 2014, WWJ

Listen here for the full conversation.