Detroiters Input Wanted for City's Long Term Plan - New York News

Detroiters Input Wanted for City's Long Term Plan

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Detroit's Long Term Planning Project is all about mapping the city's future, and Detroiters are being asked to play a very big role.

"I am vested because it's my city, and I'm asking them to be vested because it's their city," said Sandra Turner Handy with the Detroit Works Project.

Now these Detroiters are being asked to step into the future and picture Detroit not as it is today, but how they want it to be.

"The key thing that we've been hearing, as you can imagine, is people saying we want a future Detroit to be more safe. We want to have better educational opportunities, and we want to have an environment that is more healthy for us," said Dan Pitera.

He is the head of community engagement for the Detroit Works Project Long Term Planning Team. Their job is to put together a strategy for Detroit's future ranging from finding new ways to use vacant space to creating new jobs. This time, they're not building this plan alone. They're building on input from Detroiters and the good work that is already being done in a number of Detroit neighborhoods.

"We're trying to touch people in every possible way," Pitera explained.

The team's home base is right at the heart of Detroit's Eastern Market, but a lot of their work is done in Detroit neighborhoods with roaming tables and community conversations. They've even launched an online game called "Detroit 24-7." All of it designed to get people to think creatively about the city, share their experiences and their ideas for the future.

"Whatever is created needs to be implemented by all of us, not by government alone, not by for-profit alone and not by non-profit alone," Pitera said.

But in a city with so many challenges, it's no wonder some Detroiters are having a hard time envisioning anything other than what they're facing right now.

"I'm not going to ask any of the residents in the City of Detroit to do something I wouldn't do," Handy said. "Even those that are skeptical know that they have to come to the table."

Detroit's Long Term Plan should be finished sometime this August and the team is determined to make sure that people from all over the city have their voices heard.

"Everything we're doing is focused on a person's quality of life," said Pitera.

_____

The following is a list of community conversations happening across Detroit this week:

Monday, May 21
5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Northwest Activities Center
18100 Meyers Road

Tuesday, May 22
5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Serbian Memorial Hall
19940 Van Dyke

Wednesday, May 23
5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation
1121 Trumbull Avenue

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