Detroit Mayor Dave Bing has released an ambitious 50-year plan to revitalize the shrinking and struggling city, including a blueprint to clear parts of nearly vacant neighborhoods for parks and relax rules to pave the way for startup companies to move into the area, the Associated Press reports.
Bing released the 349-page plan on Wednesday alongside dozens of community, business and philanthropic leaders. It focuses on job growth, land use, improving neighborhoods and rebuilding the city’s dwindling infrastructure.
It doesn’t include financing plans, but at least $150 million in initial funding will come over the next five years from the Kresge Foundation. The private organization, which is based in nearby Troy, has long been active in Detroit-area projects.
“It became clear to me that business as usual would not effectively transform our city, and a new framework for Detroit’s future needed to be developed,” Bing said Wednesday.
“As mayor of Detroit and a long-time member of this community, I’ve witnessed the steady decline of a city with so much promise,” said Bing, a former NBA star and successful businessman in Detroit. “I’m convinced Detroit can be a world-class city again.”
A major focus is on Detroit’s ramshackle neighborhoods. The city, which lost a quarter-million people in the last decade, has at least 30,000 empty homes and 20 square miles of vacant land.
Among the report’s suggestions are targeting vacant land and empty buildings for employment districts to stimulate job growth in neighborhoods. It also recommends encouraging residents living in sparsely populated neighborhoods to move out, then converting the land into open space or community gardens.
Read more at Politico.