December 12, 2014
December is an interesting time of reflection as I prepare to conclude my first year as Executive Director of the DFC Implementation Office.
I joined the DFC Implementation Office in January, after serving four terms as a member of the Detroit City Council. I served Detroit during some of the most interesting years in the City’s history. Since assuming the reins at the DFC Implementation Office, I’m constantly running into people who tell me that I look much more relaxed. My reply is usually that looks are deceiving. I am just as busy today, as I was during my time on City Council, working to help transform the City of Detroit. I’m thrilled to be working with a dedicated team of professionals who are fully committed to an agenda of positive transformation and growth for the city of Detroit and, most importantly, for the people who live here. Our portfolio of work is diverse and includes initiatives that fulfill five strategic priorities emanating from the DFC Strategic Framework: Employing more Detroiters, Policy and Regulatory Reform, Strategic Renewal of City Systems, Neighborhood Stabilization, and an Open Space Network.
One notable project this year was our Blight Bootcamp. Held in June, this event drew over 300 Detroiters who came to hear best practices and share insight on how to eliminate blight at a block-by-block level.
Consistent with this theme, the DFC Implementation Office concluded its Partial Deconstruction Pilot initiative. This initiative targeted 10 homes in the Springwells Village neighborhood of Southwest Detroit to test deconstruction practices that offer an alternative to the complete demolition of blighted structures. Goals of this project were to show how partial deconstruction can create jobs, reduce soil and air pollution, and create a secondary market for materials reclaimed from deconstructed buildings.