In the Media

Layers of government inhibit the regional cooperation we need

There are a handful of things we in Michigan are proud of and value about ourselves and our state.  We work hard. We make things. We love our Great Lakes and outdoors.  We are proud of our education institutions and what they represent.

We want to be proud again of our Michigan communities as great places to live, work and raise a family. In order to get there, however, we have a big problem that must first be fixed. Many of our communities, particularly our older core cities and suburbs, are literally falling apart, with no way to pay for their rebuilding.

Detroit Future City’s final “Ideas for Innovation” community conversation focused on regional approaches to moving Detroit and Southeast Michigan forward. Besides complex racial dynamics, one of the major barriers to much-needed regional cooperation — not just in the Detroit area, but all across our state — is the way our cities and towns are funded.

Layers of government inhibit the regional cooperation we need

John Austin. November 25, 2015. Michigan Radio

Press Release

Apply for up to $5,000 to improve a vacant lot in Detroit!

The Detroit Future City (DFC) Field Guide to Working with Lots is a tool that provides step-by-step instruction to support Detroiters in transforming vacant land in order to create cleaner, safer and more attractive neighborhoods.

The Field Guide mini-grant program encourages Detroit residents, community groups and businesses to utilize the Field Guide to implement land stewardship activities in Detroit’s neighborhoods. This December, the DFC Implementation Office will award 15 grants for a maximum amount of $5,000 per applicant.

Click here for the mini-grant application.

In the Media

Detroit Future City Names New Executive Director

Anika Goss-Foster has been named the new executive director of Detroit Future City, as the organization becomes an independent, non-profit entity. The organization It coordinates strategies, actions, and resources to catalyze long-term revitalization for the City of Detroit.

Goss-Foster, a Detroit native, has more than 15 years of leadership in national and local roles in community development and non-profit management. She was chosen after an extensive nationwide search.

Click here to read the full article in Dbusiness Magazine.

Press Release

Anika Goss-Foster Tapped to Lead Detroit Future City As it Becomes an Independent Non-profit

Detroit – The Detroit Future City (DFC) Implementation Office announced, today, that Anika Goss-Foster will serve as its next executive director, leading the organization as it becomes an independent, non-profit entity. Goss-Foster will begin in this role on Jan. 4, 2016, after more than 15 years of leadership in national and local roles in community development and non-profit management.

Goss-Foster, a Detroit native and resident, was chosen after an extensive nationwide search, which began in June of this year. Dr. George Swan III, who has served as chair of the DFC Implementation Office’s transition management committee (TMC), which led the executive search, said, “Anika was the clear leader in an impressive pool of candidates from across the US.

“With deep roots in Detroit, expertise in community development, and proven non-profit leadership, she is extremely well-qualified for this role. We are thrilled to have Anika lead Detroit Future City into this important next phase for the organization,” said Swan.

Goss-Foster has worked at the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) for 15 years. In her most recent post as vice president of the Midwest region, she provided strategic and technical support for seven LISC offices in cities across the Midwest that are engaged in resident-led, comprehensive community development. Prior to this role, Goss-Foster served as vice president of sustainable communities, where she supported 16 local offices’ efforts to implement comprehensive community development strategies as part of LISC’s Building Sustainable Communities program.

Her experience in Detroit began with LISC as well, where she served as the organization’s Detroit program director. She was noted for several major achievements while in this position, including managing a $40 million community development campaign, and designing and leading the campaign for the city’s first Land Bank Authority. Goss-Foster has also worked for the City of Detroit as its director of philanthropic affairs and executive director of the Next Detroit Neighborhood Initiative which launched initiatives in six neighborhoods to improve city services and attract philanthropic investment.

“Leading the DFC Implementation Office provides an exciting opportunity to translate my experience and expertise into an effort that is providing long-term, sustainable, and transformational impact in the City of Detroit,” said Goss-Foster. “We are at an important moment where we can work to further our position as the connecting force that aligns stakeholders around the recommendations in the Strategic Framework.”

In addition to Swan, the TMC that led the executive search includes Jed Howbert, Mayor Duggan’s Office of Jobs and Economic Development; Rod Miller, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation; James Ribbron, a Detroit citizen; Alice Thompson, Black Family Development Inc.; and Laura Trudeau, The Kresge Foundation.
As the DFC Implementation Office transitions to an independent non-profit, the TMC is finalizing the governance of the organization, including the nomination of its new board, which will be in place in January 2016.
Dan Kinkead, who has served the DFC Implementation Office in a leadership capacity since its inception in May 2013, will continue to lead innovative programs and projects as director of initiatives. The DFC Implementation Office has a nine-person team working to advance the recommendations set forth in the DFC Strategic Framework.
Swan said, “Dan and the DFC Implementation Office staff have advanced some of our most impactful and innovative work to-date. They’ve established the organization as a pivotal partner on numerous initiatives, and a nationally and internationally recognized thought leader. With our leadership team in place and a strong board coming in to offer strategic direction, the DFC Implementation Office is well-positioned to enhance and expand the great work it has achieved towards the city’s transformation.”
Major initiatives completed this year include a DFC Field Guide to Working with Lots, a print and online tool that offers instructions for Detroiters to transform vacant land into beneficial landscapes; and Ideas for Innovation, a six-part speaker series that engaged local and nation thought leaders and Detroiters in conversations on several key focus areas of the DFC Strategic Framework. In addition to these signature programs, the DFC Implementation Office has been engaged in more than a dozen other impactful initiatives this year to revitalize Detroit.

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About Detroit Future City
The DFC Implementation Office was formed to advance the recommendations of the Detroit Future City Strategic Framework Plan. It coordinates strategies, actions and resources to catalyze long-term revitalization of Detroit and adds research and implementation capacity to the work of contributing partners and stakeholders. For more information visit


ioby announces open positions in Detroit

The DFC Implementation Office partners with ioby, an organization that mobilizes neighbors who have good ideas to become powerful citizen leaders, to spread the word to extraordinarily talented leaders in community development, urban planning, technology, community organizing, leadership development, participatory planning, tactical urbanism, and social justice who are interested in available Action Strategists positions in Detroit.

ioby helps neighbors grow and implement great ideas one block at a time by using crowd-resourcing platforms to connect leaders with funding and support to make our neighborhoods safer, greener, more livable and more fun.

Click here for more information about ioby and to apply for open positions.


November 2014 E-Newsletter: Land & Building Resources Priority: Transforming Vacant Land into an Innovative Open Space Network

The DFC Strategic Framework designates areas for strategic growth, areas for neighborhood stabilization and other areas for transformation into an innovative open space network.

This open space network provides the opportunity to transform the city’s enormous vacant land liability into an open space amenity, drastically improving the quality of life for Detroiters by:

  • Improving public health and environmental quality by cleaning air, water and soil through the use of vacant land for forests, green buffers and blue infrastructure
  • Generating food, jobs, energy and commerce through innovative open space land uses
  • Connecting neighborhoods and employment districts through greenways
  • Providing opportunities for recreation and play

The DFC Implementation Office’s efforts to catalyze the transformation of Detroit’s vacant land into an open space network are being moved forward on several fronts. Contributing to Public Policy We are currently initiating an open space technical planning process to refine the open space concept laid out in the DFC Strategic Framework and to support community-led work related to open space. This will be achieved by working with stakeholders and partners through a robust community engagement process to create an integrated open space plan for the city of Detroit. This plan can be used in the future to inform public policy, resource allocation and strategic investment throughout the city.



CCP Report: Open Space in Detroit

In an effort to continue to advance the transformation of Detroit’s vacant land into an open space amenity, the DFC Implementation Office applied for and received a technical assistance scholarship from the Center for Community Progress (CCP) to research ownership models and funding options for long-term open space in Detroit.  DFC worked with the CCP team, which consisted of CCP staff and consultants, to frame and inform the work, building off the recommendations in the DFC Strategic Framework, and to connect the team to key stakeholders working on open space in Detroit.  The report addresses two key questions:

  • What are the range of ownership models that could be considered for open space, depending on type of use, permanence of use, scale, and location?
  • What are the funding needs for the types of open space uses examined in this report and what existing or creative funding tools may be available to address those needs?

Check out the full report here.

In the Media

Detroit Future City initiative uniting communities through vacant land revitalization

The Detroit Future City is an independent nonprofit organization working to help shape the future direction and decision-making of Detroit residents and city leaders to have a positive impact on the city’s revitalization.

Dan Kinkead, director of the Detroit Future City Implementation Office, updates Greening of the Great Lakes host, Kirk Heinze, on Detroit Future City’s major accomplishments.

Detroit Future City initiative uniting communities through vacant land revitalization

Russ White. November 2, 2015. MLive