Detroit Driving Innovation in Inclusive Design, New Report Shows

Advocacy Nonprofit Design Core Detroit Forms Partnerships with Residents, Groups, City to Develop Talent and Inclusive Policies, Encourage Investment, Meet Diverse Needs

DETROIT– April 11, 2019– Design Core Detroit, steward of the only U.S. city officially designated as aCity of Design by UNESCO, unveiled today “Inclusive Design Together: Detroit Cityof Design Monitoring Report,” the design advocacy nonprofit’s latest release showcasing the progress of inclusive design projects across the city. According to the report, more than 70,000 Detroit residents werereached through 62 design projects that engaged school children, women, LGBTQ individuals, people with disabilities, entrepreneurs and professionals through 52 partner-organizations.

The progress report outlines the collective impact of the 52 partner-organizations and profiles three major projects of 62 through case studies. Design Core Detroit’s work, developed with its local partners, will be presented in Italy atthe UNESCO Creative Cities Network Annual Convening in June by a Design Core Detroit delegation to share critical outcomes and best practices for global engagement and adoption.

“Inclusive design is the way we are moving our great city forward, ensuring that no community is left out,” said Olga Stella, executive director of Design Core Detroit. “Detroit’s industrial and modern design legacies helped us secure our UNESCO designation and seed this movement, but institutionalizing and documenting our grassroots approach is what will keep it growing. We are excited to see others learn from what our partners are doing in Detroit.”

Detroit is the first and still only U.S. city designated as a City of Design among 31 international cities focused on using creativity s a driver for sustainable and equitable development throughout the world, as part ofthe UNESCO Creative Cities Network, or UCCN. Detroit also is the only City of Design that isdeploying a grassroots approach to execute its 2018 to 2025 Action Plan, working with its partners – designing the redevelopment of Detroit with residents, not for them. One-third of local partners obtained additional grants to implement their projects.

Featured projects include the launch of Commerce Design: Detroit, an awards program and recognized best practiceof the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, licensed from Montreal, Canada. The award is now headed Belgium with a new design guide created by Design Core Detroit for smallbusinesses.

Other projects in the report include a new bike-sharing program for people with severely limited physical mobility and resident-led revitalization projects in Detroit neighborhoods.

“MoGo is designedto serve a wide range of people and needs, and the addition of adaptive bikesto our fleet reflects our commitment to inclusivity and accessibility,” said Lisa Nuszkowski, founder and executive director, MoGo Detroit Bike Share. “We’re proud to make MoGo available to people of all abilities, and expand mobility options for people in Detroit.”

A coalition of 52 local businesses, nonprofits, public agencies and  institutions was formedas a result of the Detroit City of Design Action Plan, implementing projects to help transform Detroit into a global center for the practice of inclusive design. These partners created an ecosystem of 239 reported connections, demonstrating the strength of the coalition. New partners will be added in the coming years to ensure new design talent and ideas arecultivated to address the full and diverse spectrumof the city’s cultural, mobility and redevelopment needs.

The creative economy in the Detroit region represents only 5 percent of all occupations, but it feeds a design ecosystem that accounts for 20 percent of thermion’s economy and $2.5 billion in annual wages, making it a key pillar of the region’s revitalization and growth.

For the full report, please download: To learn more, visit or follow Design Core Detroit on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 For video footage of Detroit’s inclusive design projects and College for Creative Studies Equitable Mobility Project, please download: and

For still images of a Commerce Design: Detroit award-winning space and MoGo’s bike-sharing mobility options, please download.

Read more