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Detroit to receive $4 million for civic commons project

Sep 12, 2016

Detroit has seen a lot of new changes come its way in the past five years, with the revitalization of Midtown, the growth of businesses downtown, and some small businesses becoming more stable in other pockets of the city. 

The city will now get $4 million in a national civic commons initiative to help fund projects in the respective cities. Chicago, Memphis, and Akron will also receive money for projects in their cities. 

City Lab's Kriston Capps reports that the Rockefeller Foundation, the JPB Foundation and, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation are starting a new campaign called "Reimagining the Civic Commons."

The initiative looks to improve and find new uses for vacant parking lots, and unused school buildings and parks in each of the four cities. 

More from City Lab:

Maybe even more important than the improvements to any specific sites or structures, though, is the test of a theory: that people of all backgrounds can take advantage of revitalization when it involves improving highly localized community assets.

The University of Detroit Mercy and Marygrove College are partnering with the city to use funds from this initiative to improve the city's Fitzgerald neighborhood, which is next to both schools. 

The Civic Commons website lists more details for revitalization plans for the Livernois Corridor and the surrounding neighborhoods on the city's northwest side. 

Director of Planning and Development for the City of Detroit Maurice Cox has been working with the Civic Commons project.

More from the Civic Commons website:

"Through the Civic Commons initiative, we hope to rekindle the sense of pride current residents should have living in a neighborhood adjacent to such wonderful institutions of higher learning. Vacant lots turned into a park and greenway connecting Marygrove College and U of D Mercy complement our effort to rehab and reoccupy 100 vacant homes in the neighborhood, and help strengthen the entire fabric of the community," [says Cox].

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan has also expressed his support for the project.