Friday, January 11, 2013

Kresge pledges $150 million to Detroit Future City plan

The Detroit Free Press put this story above the fold on its front page Thursday morning, so it's big news as well as good news.  Before I quote the Free Press article, I'll give WXYZ first crack at explaining this philanthropic effort.

The Free Press has some details about the proposals, in particularly for a "blue-green infrastructure" which combines sustainably managing the region's abundant water resources with renewable energy and other sustainable landscape practices.
Those recommendations range across multiple fields, from increasing job-training programs to bolstering transit options for Detroiters to creating “blue” and “green” infrastructure in the form of farms on vacant lands and artificial ponds and lakes to capture rainwater before it runs off into sewers.
Many of the recommendations, like those to turn vacant land in Detroit into retention ponds to capture rainwater so it doesn’t flow into the overburdened sewer system, require not only a change in thinking but a change in legal requirements for how cities handle its water supply.

But Toni Griffin, the New York-based urban planner who served as project director of the team that produced Detroit Future City, said Detroit can overcome the challenges to become a role model for other cities.

"Landscape is the new 21st-Century infrastructure," she told the audience. And, on an optimistic note that mirrored the celebratory mood of the day, she said, “It was easy for us to see Detroit’s future is closer than we imagined."
As I've written before, the solutions to the problems of North America's cities will be developed here first and then exported to the rest of the continent.  These proposals look like exactly the kind of solutions I'd like to succeed and promote.

I'm sure I'll have much more to say about this plan and Kresge's support of it in the months and years to come, but right now, I'll be playing Rift with my wife.  Game on!

What, you were expecting Professor Farnsworth?

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