The City of Detroit’s Planning & Development Department (PDD) will uphold, embody and promote the Detroit City of Design values for inclusive growth. All of PDD’s work is based on these values of accessible opportunities, collaborative relationships and diverse experiences.
City of Detroit Planning & Development Deptartment
The mission of the City of Detroit’s Planning & Development Department is to build a city secure in its future, grounded in its roots and hopeful in its present state. The vision that supports this mission is a healthy and beautiful Detroit, built on inclusionary growth, economic opportunity and trust.
Lack of physical access to educational opportunities, workforce support services such as training programs, wraparound support services such as child and health care, essential goods such as groceries and locations of potential employment present significant barriers for many Detroiters in the struggle to ascend out of poverty. Simply put, those who have the fewest resources are currently forced to navigate a disjointed system to meet basic needs with no viable low cost alternative.
The Joe Louis Greenway (JLG) was developed with input from the surrounding communities and is supported by a wide range of agencies and organizations. It has been identified as a priority corridor for non-motorized plans in the city of Detroit, Hamtramck, Highland Park and Dearborn. The level of connectivity proposed by the JLG will enhance the overall transportation network providing greater access for neighborhood residents across the region. The JLG is a transformative multimodal transportation and economic development investment that forges new connections across dispersed Detroit-area neighborhoods and surrounding jurisdictions, and provides access to jobs for thousands of Detroiters. Through the strategic development of 31.5 miles of interwoven vehicle, transit, pedestrian and bicycle facilities, the JLG will connect to local and regional transportation systems, and link 186 miles of existing bike lanes and bike routes to complete a total of 243 miles of non-motorized routes across greater Detroit. This project will improve safety, economic competitiveness, state of good repair and quality of life, while leveraging millions of dollars in recent private and municipal investment.
Pink Zoning Detroit, now called MIX TAPE, is a research project for the Detroit’s Planning & Development Department that targets three commercial corridors in the city for which the selected firms worked to create a vision for redevelopment. Those ideas were tested against existing codes to identify how regulations may be changed to make redevelopment simpler. Maurice Cox, Director of PDD, selected three partners to help the city: Farr Associates/PlaceMakers/CHA, SmithGroupJJR and Laavu.
The Brush Park Form-Based Code is a division of the Detroit Zoning Ordinance that focuses on the Brush Park neighborhood. Designed to provide residents and developers with a predictable vision of the built environment in Brush Park, the Form-Based Code is intended to regulate land development through using form as the primary component to define and establish the developing character of the neighborhood. The Form-Based Code creates opportunities for medium-density mixed-use development while incorporating elements from the fourth modified plan and the Brush Park Historic District. In addition to establishing dedicated park land, the Form-Based Code focuses on enhancing the public realm to encourage pedestrian friendly streets and the advancement of a walkable urban neighborhood.
Spirit Plaza – The People’s Plaza – is a space to promote neighborhoods and civic participation. It’s Detroit’s first-ever public space intended for all citizens to engage in civic life, local seasonal activities, cultural attractions and public events that highlight the city’s many voices and unique identity.
The City of Detroit, Downtown Detroit Partnership and Quicken Loans will put up temporary seasonal installations, while working on permanent design concepts.
Imagine if Detroit had community storefronts where residents could exchange ideas and become informed about the design and planning work happening in their neighborhood and the city at large? Design Center in a Box will begin with a storefront space typically used for commercial development and will transform into an engagement centerpiece housing City Planning staff, academic institutions, community organizations, designers and other community-driven development stakeholders.
The storefront design would be inspired by and based on finding the most creative ways for communities to learn about and become engaged with the community development work that directly affects their neighborhoods. More specifically, the Design Center in a Box project will launch a competition to develop ideas for pop-up architecture that can be transported to and installed in vacant storefronts. Two designs will be awarded $40,000 to detail, fabricate and install their pop-ups in selected sites, which will launch two temporary neighborhood design centers.
This project is centered around creating a space for diverse experiences, and designing a space so that it can be transported and re-installed to create that experience within a new setting. The focus is on creating an adaptable design for an environment in which sharing design ideas is the central activity. Bringing this opportunity into the community by activating vacant storefronts speaks to the value of accessible opportunities. Finally, the intent of focusing on local university partnerships, locally connected designers and engagement with neighborhood commercial corridors is intended to support collaboration between residents, designers and the City in a uniquely engaging environment.