The federal government is throwing its support behind Detroit Mayor Dave Bing’s Detroit Works Project. That’s a controversial effort to focus resources on Detroit’s more vibrant neighborhoods. It appeared to have stalled in recent months. But when federal officials were in Detroit announcing the city’s participation in the “Strong Cities, Strong Communities” program, they made it clear that they believe in Detroit Works. Bing says the city is on the verge of identifying the handful of Detroit neighborhoods it wants to re-build.
“We cannot invest in every community in the city. So we’re going to focus on density and a handful of communities within our city, and we’re going to make them stronger than they are.”
Federal officials cited the Detroit Works project as one of several public-private partnerships that gave them confidence Detroit has a solid “vision” for future redevelopment. The Feds also cited Bing’s ability to work with the private sector as a confidence-booster. The Kresge Foundation has been heavily involved in pushing Detroit Works. Kresge President Rip Rapson said Monday that a longer-term vision for Detroit Works was still a little sketchy, but also notes: “The process that the Mayor has brought into clearest focus is: are there a handful of neighborhoods in which we’re going to invest and stack resources?” Bing Administration officials said a list of that “handful of neighborhoods” will be released within the next month, and possibly as soon as next week.