Cockrel (John T. Greilick / The Detroit News)
Detroit — A group seeking to reinvent Detroit unveiled Thursday its top priorities for revitalizing the city, including better services and economic growth.
“The framework reflects the input of many Detroiters,” said former City Council President Ken Cockrel Jr., who is leading the Detroit Future City effort. “We’re not just out there doing stuff, we’re doing stuff with the input of and direct representation of the city’s residents.”
The plan’s priorities for 2014-15 also include land use, stabilizing neighborhoods, transforming vacant land into desirable open spaces and helping Detroiters find jobs, Cockrel said.
He said the issues are critical to Detroit’s long-term viability and must be addressed first.
Detroit Future City is an outgrowth of an effort by former Mayor Dave Bing in which the city would focus its efforts and services to thriving areas of the city. Bing’s Detroit Strategic Framework envisioned stable neighborhoods in which vacant land is put to creative use and residents are urged to move to more populated areas, relieving pressure on the city to provide services to expanses of the city that are barely populated.
Cockrel made the remarks at an event Thursday at Detroit Future City’s new Implementation Office on West Grand Boulevard in the New Center area.
He was joined by Detroit Economic Growth Corp. President and CEO George Jackson, Deputy Detroit Mayor Ike McKinnon and Kresge Foundation President and CEO Rip Rapson.
McKinnon said the group’s priorities are aligned with those of Mayor Mike Duggan. “Now that we have this, let’s make it work,” he said. “Let’s make it grow.”
Rapson said the ideas embodied in the framework have moved from the aspirational to the achievable in just a year’s time.
The Kresge Foundation has pledged $150 million over five years for projects that align with the Detroit Future City’s strategic framework.
The framework, first announced in January 2013, is considered a 50-year blueprint for the city.
Detroit Future City aims to work with residents, businesses, community leaders and other organizations on projects that include economic growth, land use and stabilizing city neighborhoods, said Cockrel , who joined Detroit Future City in January as its executive director.