Detroit Makes Big Hire to Aid Downsizing

Urban planning expert Toni Griffin has been recruited to help Detroit downsize and recover -- thanks to an infusion of money from a private philanthropic foundation.
March 19, 2010, 9am PDT | Nate Berg
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The Kresge Foundation has supplied the money to lure Griffin to Detroit, where she will focus on Mayor Dave Bing's plans to downsize the struggling city.

"The 45-year-old comes to the Motor City with a considerable national reputation. Enter Rip Rapson, president of the $3.1 billion Kresge Foundation. While Griffin will work inside the city's planning department, she won't be on the public payroll. Her salary, plus the cost of assembling a team of consultants, is covered by Kresge.

Philanthropic dollars are seeding the reinvention of Detroit. Demographer Kurt Metzger heads up Data Driven Detroit (DDD), an agency that just completed a plot-by-plot analysis of the city's 139-square-mile footprint, without which Griffin would be flying blind. DDD is backed by $1.85 million from the Kresge and Skillman foundations."

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Published on Wednesday, March 17, 2010 in Time
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