The Detroit Future City (DFC) Implementation Office August E-newsletter: A Focus on Neighborhood Planning and Welcoming New Team Members

The Detroit Future City (DFC) Implementation Office’s primary focus is to catalyze the DFC Strategic Framework’s 50-year plan and steward its recommendations.  To do this effectively, so all Detroiters can play an active role in this stewardship, the DFC Implementation Office has to design strategies from the macro, neighborhood to city wide, to the micro, from lot to block, levels. 

Equitable neighborhood planning is an essential across all the DFC Implementation Office’s three priority areas, land use and city systems, community and economic development, and capacity building.  Whether leading the effort or providing technical assistance to others, the DFC Implementation Office elevates local and international industry expertise, and empowers Detroiters to participate in developing and implementing that vision for the community with the City’s policies and regulations. 

Here are a few recent examples of how the DFC Implementation Office has advanced the Strategic Framework through equitable neighborhood planning in Detroit. 

Hope Village 
DFC as a technical partner in large-scale neighborhood transformation

The DFC Implementation Office serves as a technical partner for the HOPE Village Initiative’s 15-year Community Strategic Plan.  This is macro level, large scale neighborhood planning using the DFC Strategic Framework’s recommendation to inform processes that can enhance the quality of life for Detroiters near Focus: HOPE’s campus, which encompasses about 100 blocks near the Davison and Lodge freeways. 

The HOPE Village initiative is a long-term, comprehensive, place-based initiative designed to radically improve the odds of educational, environmental and economic success for children, their families and their neighborhoods. 

The DFC Implementation Office’s technical support serves the planning process through robust engagement with residents and other stakeholders.  During the engagement process, the DFC Strategic Framework was used to help inform how to design the neighborhood around transportation, land and building use, community development, and economic prosperity. 

This provides a roadmap for all members of the community on how to achieve their vision for their neighborhood. 

DFC Field Guide to Working with Lots 
DFC as a leader in developing a resident-level tool and applying it to neighborhood-level transformation 

The DFC Implementation Office developed the Field Guide to Working with Lots last year to give Detroit residents and community groups a user friendly tool for vacant lot transformation. The Field Guide tool puts the recommendations in the DFC Strategic Framework into the hands of Detroiters, empowering them to improve quality of life in their neighborhood.   In less than a year, there are about 25 lots in Detroit that have been transformed using the Field Guide, 15 of which were supported by the DFC Implementation Office’s mini-grant program. 

While the Field Guide provides direction on a one-to-three-lot scale, through a partnership with Black Family Development, the DFC Implementation Office looked at how to incorporate the Field Guide into a “Vacant Land Transformation Strategy” for the entire Osborn neighborhood.  This could help Osborn, a neighborhood struggling with high vacancy, utilize a short-term decision-making guide that provides near term quality of life enhancements, and is compatible with other planning going on in that neighborhood. The strategy highlighted existing and future vacant land in Osborn where the Field Guide would have the most impact in residential areas, and near industrial and commercial strips. 

Community + Public Arts Detroit (CPAD) ‘New Urban Places’ 
Community and art as a driver for neighborhood planning citywide 

The CPAD ‘New Urban Places’ projects are wrapping up this summer and fall and presented a unique opportunity to connect the DFC Strategic Framework with existing neighborhood plans to help inform the community members in Cody Rouge, Brightmoor, Jefferson Chalmers and North End neighborhoods.

This project brings together the DFC Implementation Office, CPAD at The College for Creative Studies (CCS), The Greening of Detroit, artists and community residents to collaborate on transforming vacant and underutilized spaces in these four Detroit neighborhoods into New Urban Places where the arts, culture, and green space combine to express unique community visions as part of a creative ecology for Detroit.

These four neighborhoods went through the decision-making process with technical assistance from the DFC Implementation Office to determine where they wanted public artwork to be installed and what their guiding vision for the artists would be. The CPAD community engagement process incorporated community planning and implementation at a smaller scale, but took into account the overall neighborhood’s opportunities and assets.  

The DFC Implementation Office Welcomes Edward Lynch 

The DFC Implementation Office is thrilled to have Edward Lynch join our team as planner. Edward Lynch serves as Planner at the Detroit Future City (DFC) Implementation Office. In this role, Edward coordinates external efforts for land use, open space and long-range planning/policy issues. He provides technical support for targeted data management analysis to community groups, stakeholders, businesses, and residents for mapping and planning in Detroit neighborhoods. 

Prior to joining the DFC Implementation Office, Edward spent five years working for Hamilton Anderson and Associates, where he collaborated with a range of clients to create plans at the city and neighborhood level and conducted detailed data analysis in support of those planning efforts. Prior to this position, he operated as a census enumerator for the Department of Commerce in Livonia, Michigan during the follow-up phase of the 2010 U.S. Census.

Click here for more information about the DFC team.
DFC in the News 
Model D: Barbers and landscapers join forces to transform vacant city lots 

Landscaping Blog: Landscapers, barbers come together to give Detroit a trim 

WDET: Must Detroit Shrink to Survive?

CityLab: Growing Pains for Detroit's Urban Farms
Opportunities at DFC

DFC Implementation Office is Seeking Neighborhood Engagement Coordinator
DFC on Social Media 
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