Thursday, December 21, 2006

Detroit Turns Its Attention to Neighborhoods

Detroit's Mayor Kwame M. Kilpatrick announced earlier this week that his Administration will focus more of their attention on the city's neighbhorhoods now that downtown Detroit is rapidly improving. He is targeting six neighborhoods in the city for significant improvement.

While the Warrendale neighborhood isn't one of the six that were selected, it's good to see that the City is trying a different strategy for improving the quality of life in our neighborhoods. In previous years, one of two things usually happened:
  1. Mayors would focus almost exclusively on downtown; hoping that the neighborhoods would either take care of themselves or promising to deal with the neighborhoods but never get around to it.
  2. Mayors would try to do something for the neighborhoods but it was done city-wide and with so little focus that its impact was almost meaningless. (Think about the old Neighborhood Services Department.)
The new strategy of focusing on indidivual neighborhoods - with a strategy of Redevelop (a complete overhaul, which will focus on the Brightmoor and North End neighborhoods); Revitalize (for generally stable neighborhoods, which will focus on the Grand River/Greenfield neighborhood and Osborne Community) and Reinforce (for neighborhoods that are doing well and they just need to make sure they stay that way - in this case, Bagley and East English Village).

The fact that two of these neighborhoods are fairly close Warrendale (Brightmoor and Grand River/Greenfield) means that there will likely be somewhat of a spillover effect for us.

Oh, and if anyone is interested in some extensive reading, here is a link to the 157 page report that was the theoretical foundation for everything Mayor Kilpatrick announced. His official press release, and a PowerPoint presentation that accompanied it, are available here.

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