Detroit Turns to Web for Land-Use Strategy
The launch of the site—detroitworksproject.com—comes ahead of the first of a series of community meetings with city leaders and urban-renewal experts working on a new master plan. The first of the meetings was scheduled for Tuesday night.
The city insists that the details of the master plan have yet to be filled in, except that it won't involve the forced relocation city residents. But it doesn't mince words about the current direction of Detroit and the need to act.
"The biggest 'what if' is 'What if we do nothing?' " the site reads under a section called "Opportunities + Challenges." "And the answer to that is clear. Detroit will continue to decline."
Detroit's steady population and business loss over the past several decades have accelerated in recent years, and the city is struggling to provide basic services such as police, street lights and garbage pickup to dozens of thinly populated neighborhoods scattered across its 139 square miles.
The city estimates it has about 60,000 parcels of surplus land, and the aim of its new master plan is to find new uses for the vacant property.
"We are just at the beginning, and there are no predetermined outcomes about our neighborhoods beyond that we all deserve to live in areas that are safe and strong, where services can be delivered in the most efficient ways possible," Detroit Mayor Dave Bing wrote in an opening message on the website.
Mr. Bing, a former basketball star and businessman, is expected to attend Tuesday night's opening public meeting, after weeks of so-called "soft" presentations to civic and business groups.
The first meeting Tuesday night will be held at Greater Grace Temple, a large Northwest Detroit church, with additional meetings to following in coming weeks.