Kresge Pledges Additional $120 Million Toward Detroit Revitalization

Detroit has received a significant showing of confidence from its benefactor, The Kresge Foundation (based in Troy, MI) after it unveiled its new strategic plan known as Detroit Future City. As the city downsizes, the challenges are significant.
djtansey / Flickr

Matthew Dolan writes on The Kresge Foundation's latest gift, "about $120 million in new funding beyond previously announced programs" to revitalize Detroit through it new Strategic Framework Plan known as Detroit Future City. Kresge, based in nearby Troy, "invested more than $100 million in Detroit over the past decade to construct a riverfront promenade (RiverWalk), build greenways and help fund a new 3.4-mile downtown trolley (M1-RAIL light rail/streetcar circulator) line that is expected to receive federal support."

Dolan writes that the investment is a significant show of faith in this new plan by both the foundation and its leader, Rip Rapson, which is significant in that Dolan had written that both had shown doubts on its considerable investments (covered by Planetizen on July 9, 2011: Detroit's Angel Foundation Reconsiders Support).

Dolan provides some excellent insights into the new plan by Prof. Robin Boyle, chairman of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at Wayne State University in Detroit.

“It has the opportunity to set a new direction and a new tone that the city has to be smaller, tighter and more dense.” He cited Philadelphia as an aging industrial city that has made strides in finding new uses for its vacant and underused property.

"He cautioned, though, that the plan may fail to address the growth in the city’s suburbs where many jobs will still lie. More pressing, he said, is how Detroit will continue to serve residents in sparsely populated areas even as they hope to turn those into parks, farms or urban forests."

However, the additional investment itself is significant in that it helps meet one significant challenge - the money to implement the plan.

"Urban planners say many plans similar to the new Detroit blueprint have had disappointing outcomes, relegated to bookshelves as cities struggled find the resources and political will to implement a long-term vision", Dolan writes.

Finding the political will is next.

Full Story: Detroit Receives $150 Million Gift

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month

Stay thirsty, urbanists

These sturdy water bottles are eco-friendly and perfect for urbanists on the go.
$19.00
Book cover of Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Featuring thought-provoking commentary and insights from some of the leading thinkers and practitioners in the field.
$18.95