Change is coming to Detroit in the way they use the city’s underdeveloped or abandoned pieces of land. The best ideas could come from city residents themselves, according to Mayor Dave Bing.
In a recorded message to the media, Bing asked Detroit residents to get involved in reshaping the city and making it more useful to the residents. The overall effort has been coined the ‘Detroit Works Project.’
“I am asking all Detroiters to attend one of a series of public meetings bringing not just your concerns for today, but also your best ideas for the future of our city,” Bing emphasized.
The issue at hand involves Detroit’s 140 square mile land mass that is underutilized and inefficient for residents. The mayor wants to find better ways to get services to residents and address the chronic problem of vacant buildings that have begun to define the city. According to the Detroit Free Press, the city has upward of 60,000 vacant buildings.
Detroit’s population was estimated at just over 910,000 residents as of 2009. Though it is the nation’s 11th largest city, it has experienced a 60% population decline since 1950. The city was once the fourth largest in the United States.
In addition to land use, Bing and city officials are also considering ways to repopulate the city. Even more creative ideas, such as urban farming in parts of the city, have been tossed around.
The five community meetings on the topic are scheduled this month around the city of Detroit, according to WXYZ-TV. Residents are encouraged to bring their ideas and concerns to the table.
Mayor Bing reminded residents and city officials that the process is far from being outlined. In other words, it is going to take everyone’s best ideas and action to make the project the success they envision.