If you've got a great idea for smart redevelopment in Detroit that doesn't force out existing residents, Detroit Design 139 would like to hear from you by July 10. 

It's a bid by Bedrock to spotlight good ideas and best practices in inclusive design for housing, economic development, neighborhoods, public spaces and city systems across Detroit’s 139 square miles. 

"So often in the past," said Bedrock Chief Design Officer Melissa Dittmer, "design decisions have been made by the few for the many," not always with happy consequences.

So over the past year organizers of the second Detroit Design 139 -- the first was in 2017 -- held conversations with 70 local groups and design advocates, "trying to think through appropriate processes going forward," Dittmer said, "so we don't create problems for future generations."

This is a particular challenge in a city like Detroit, chosen by UNESCO as the only American "City of Design" in 2015, experiencing explosive growth with the potential to impose outsider visions on the city and sideline longtime residents. 

Gentrification, Dittmer conceded, "is a complicated problem that requires a solution that may not have been discovered yet." 

So the Detroit Design 139 call for entries not only seeks Detroit-specific ideas and solutions, it will also consider relevant projects from the other 18 UNESCO Cities of Design worldwide such as Montreal, Singapore or Bilbao, Spain, many of which have grappled with similar issues. 

"This isn't just about architectural projects," Dittmer said. "It's about inclusive processes and policies created by developers, architects or cities themselves. If we interweave the right processes and policies," she asked, "do we get to a city that addresses the affordable-housing issue?"

The best proposals will be exhibited in September, exact dates to be announced, on the ground floor of 1001 Woodward in Detroit, as well as in the city's neighborhoods of Old Redford, Morningside and Fitzgerald. 

All projects, policies and concepts submitted must be currently in progress, completed within the past three years, or planned to launch before 2021.

(313) 222-6021

Twitter: @mhodgesartguy

Call for entries: Detroit Design 139

Deadline: July 10

Visit to submit projects

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