Listening to the People's Voice in Detroit

In this op-ed for <em>The Detroit News</em>, Rob Goodspeed argues that Detroit needs to exert more effort to dialog with its citizens about how the city should change.
June 4, 2011, 5am PDT | Nate Berg
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"Since the 1940s, American cities that have successfully tackled big problems do it through ongoing and transparent dialog, incorporating technical expertise appropriately and tailoring options to local conditions.

The building blocks for doing this are relationships and trust developed over decades. In recent years, diverse regions like Denver and Chicago have come together to forge regional plans for urban development. Others, including Milwaukee and Washington, D.C., have systems of neighborhood councils where residents discuss problems and connect with city officials. These systems have their drawbacks but function as a crucial civic infrastructure. Detroit lags behind these cities in institutions and relationships, but must build on what strengths exist."

Goodspeed argues that the voices of the people are "the raw materials for a more democratic form of urban renewal" and that they should be heard and acknowledged as often as possible.

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Published on Thursday, June 2, 2011 in The Detroit News
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