Case Study: Restore NED

At the beginning of 2019 we published the “Inclusive Design Together: Detroit City of Design Monitoring Report,” which showcases the progress of 62 inclusive design projects across the city, reaching 70,000 people in 2018. You can read it in its entirety here. This report includes real stories that embody the hardworking culture of our community and the values of our initative — diverse experiences, accessible opportunities, and collaborative relationships. While there is still much work to do, our coalition of 52 partners are building momentum and we want to give you insight into some of these important case studies.

“Being a part of this group enables us to interface with different people all throughout the city. Sometimes we might learn about an idea and think, ‘Oh, we can help somebody do this over here.’ We value the collaborative vision of the Detroit City of Design.”
Pat Bosch, Community Organizer, Restore NED

Restore NED (Northeast Detroit) is an initiative that fosters creative and beautification projects in Northeast Detroit, through community organizing and land use visionary planning. Restore NED’s projects have touched diverse populations, uplifting residents and the profile of the neighborhood itself. One of the ways it has done this is by uncovering local talent and connecting them to opportunities that may not have been otherwise available. Restore NED community organizer and Northeast Detroit resident, Karen Washington, offers an example:

“One of the first people we met through Restore NED was Walter Bailey, a renowned artist. We had no idea he lived within a block of one of our main parks. We approached him to paint murals that have become a permanent art display in the local park, and he’s now being commissioned around the city. Our work captured the interest of filmmaker Kathy Drasky who brought us into her documentary about the neighborhood. As we were talking, she mentioned that she needed a score for her film, so we connected her to a local musician, whose performing name is John Greasy. Kathy screened the film at our local theatre as a community fundraiser and we invited our entire neighborhood to participate. Everything we do is a collaboration that connects people in the neighborhood. Art and beautification are ways to engage the average resident.”

Northeast Detroit’s Wilder Library Branch also hosted a second viewing of the documentary, inviting children and their parents to design their own artistic visions for Northeast Detroit. Restore NED hopes to utilize these drawings as they design new community murals in the neighborhood.

Restore NED is also learning about new revitalization ideas through its City of Design partnership. “We see the caliber of professionalism and creativity in the network. That encourages us to look deeper into our district,” says Pat Bosch, Restore NED community organizer. “Partnership in the Detroit City of Design makes us more attuned to new possibilities.”

To read more about Restore NED’s work and experience as a Detroit City of Design Partner, check out the full report here.