‘Great City’ meeting in Detroit will focus on future

April 13, 2015

The city’s future — and how to get there — is the focus of a community meeting in Detroit on Tuesday that is drawing speakers from around the country.

“The Making of a Great City,” the first of six community meetings by Detroit Future City, is from 6-8 p.m. at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.

Experts like Roxanne Qualls, former mayor and City Council member in Cincinnati, say there are key ingredients to a city’s success: strong civic leadership, alignment around a shared vision, and community participation.

Qualls, who is one of the speakers, served three terms as mayor of Cincinnati in the 1990s. During that tenure she focused on revitalizing neighborhoods, increasing home ownership and redeveloping Cincinnati’s central riverfront.

She acknowledges that Detroit is much larger and more diversified than Cincinnati, yet both cities share many maladies, such as blight and population loss, as well as the need to rebuild its image and brand.

“These things take time. That’s why the vision and the plan and the people are so important. It doesn’t happen overnight, or in five or six years in big projects,” Qualls said. “It will take time and you have to stick with it.”

Additional panelists are Dayne Walling, mayor of Flint; Gary Brown, Detroit’s chief operating officer; and Khalil Ligon, southeast Michigan outreach coordinator, Alliance for the Great Lakes.

‘Great City’ meeting in Detroit will focus on future
Jennifer Chambers, April 13, 2015, The Detroit News