In the Media

Landscapers, barbers come together to give Detroit a trim

What do barbers and landscapers have in common?

They both use their equipment to cut unruly growth back to a respectable length!

This unconventional pairing of professions is known as The Buzz, and it has been formed in an effort to manage Detroit’s vacant property issues.

The Detroit Future City (DFC) Implementation Office developed the program, which won a Knight Cities Challenge grant in 2015. Of more than 7,000 applications, The Buzz was one of 32 organizations chosen to receive $84,055.

Click here to read the full article in Landscaping Blog.

In the Media

Barbers and landscapers join forces to transform vacant city lots

To work as a barber or a landscaper can mean a variety of things. To some, it can mean nothing more than a job, punch in and trim some hair, cut some lawns, and go home. To others, it’s more than a job but a craft, dutifully studied and skillfully executed. They’re the ones who can elevate these seemingly menial tasks into art.

A flourish to a hair cut or a landscaping job is not that different from one another. It’s this idea that has launched The Buzz, an innovative approach to address the city of Detroit’s vacant land management issues. The Buzz organizers have partnered local barbers and landscapers to creatively maintain overgrown vacant lots throughout the city.

Click here to read the full article in Model D.
MJ Galbraith, July 18, 2016, Model D

Press Release

Detroit Future City’s “The Buzz” Empowers Barbers and Mowers To Collaboratively Design Detroit’s Vacant Land

Detroit – The Detroit Future City (DFC) Implementation Office’s Knight Cities Challenge winning initiative “The Buzz” will put the collaborative work of barbers and mowers – institutions and leaders in Detroit’s neighborhoods – on display in a “mow and show” on Monday, July 18th. This initiative is a partnership that includes Urban Neighborhood Initiatives, the East Side Community Network, and the City of Detroit’s General Services Department.

The Buzz aims to lift up local talent, entrepreneurs, business owners and community leaders through a collaborative effort to transform overgrown vacant lots in Detroit. In combining the artistry of barbery with the decorative craftsmanship of landscaping, this workshop will showcase how a multitude of voices, professions and skills can provide solutions to Detroit’s current land management strategies.

“Barber and mowers are the bedrock of Detroit neighborhoods,” said Anika Goss-Foster, Executive Director of the DFC Implementation Office. “As community leaders dedicated to using their trade to creatively alleviate blight by bringing barbers and mowers together to cut original lawn designs, we are providing an accessible platform for such leaders to have a stake in the future of their neighborhoods. We are honored that barbers and mowers have engaged with us in this innovative restoration project.”

In June, The Buzz held two initial meet-and-greet sessions in the Jefferson-Chalmers community on Detroit’s eastside and the Springwells Village community on Detroit’s southwest side.  More than 25 barbers and mowers came together to discuss how style trends, resource management, and land repurposement could produce viable, green neighborhoods for the community, and how to marry these concepts to create barber-inspired, mowing patterns.

The Greening of Detroit’s Workforce Development program trains Detroit residents in landscape technician skills, and is helping transform vacant lots into healthy, beautiful green spaces.  Hector Santiago, The Greening of Detroit’s Workforce Development Program Manager said, “This creative idea of bringing barbers and mowers together to discuss how popular hair style trends can be used with mowing patterns is another way to beautify some of the city’s lots.  The implementation of the designs will provide an interesting and appealing landscape in the neighborhoods.”

Since the workshop, barbers and mowers have paired off to design, test and cut creative mowing patterns. The results of their collaboration will be debuted in a “mow and show” Monday, July 18th in the Springwells Village community.

The Buzz is a 2015 winner of the Knight Cities Challenge, an initiative of the John S and James L. Knight Foundation, which seeks ideas to make cities more successful.

“The Buzz is a great example of bringing together unlikely collaborators to address real community issues,” said George Abbott, Knight Foundation project lead for the Knight Cities Challenge. “It is one way to leverage the insights of people who know their community best and to create more opportunities for authentic engagement in Detroit.”

For more information or to get involved with The Buzz, please email or call 313-259-4407. Connect with Detroit Future City on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using #dfcBUZZ.

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Latest 2016 E-Newsletter: Field Guide Implementation Update, Impact Detroit Partnership for Capacity Building, and Welcoming Seven New Board Members

The DFC Implementation Office works to build capacity in Detroit communities in a number of ways.  It’s how we can ensure Detroiters have the knowledge and resources to put the imperatives of the DFC Strategic Framework into action to improve quality of life in their neighborhoods.

The DFC Field Guide mini-grant implementation and our partnership with Impact Detroit are perfect examples of this.  Both initiatives are putting resources in the hands of Detroiters, so they can influence long-term planning, as well as make near-term changes to their land that have long-term impact.