Community Development Advocates of Detroit (CDAD) released a “Neighborhood Revitalization Strategic Framework” on March 3rd. The framework is based on the premise that right-sizing must begin with a vision for the entire city by utilizing a system of classifications based on indicators and data. This vision acknowledges that Detroit will not reverse the loss of population within the foreseeable future, and that the current conditions in Detroit’s neighborhoods are socially, economically and environmentally no longer sustainable.
Tim Thorland, Chairperson of the CDAD Board and Executive Director of Southwest Housing Solutions, notes that CDAD’s work has been forward thinking. “The framework developed by CDAD contains an inspirational vision of what Detroit can be, and then leads us toward a realistic future, with suggested strategies for how we get there. It’s a very innovative piece of work.”
CDAD’s Neighborhood Revitalization Strategic Framework was developed out of a conviction that Detroit must truly reinvent itself – from the downtown core to the city limits. Mr. Thorland states that “It is only when we understand the conditions and strategies necessary for the entire city, that we can begin to make decisions about specific neighborhoods. Furthermore, we can’t simply ignore areas of the City without understanding what their new purpose might be. We must determine what entity should own and manage that land. Otherwise crime, environmental dumping and other negative factors will surely result.”
CDAD believes the process to create a plan for the entire city must be led by the Mayor, with the involvement of community development organizations, the residents and local businesses they represent, the foundation community, and intermediaries and other stakeholder groups. Within this framework, CDAD calls for the creation of a Community Development Stakeholders Consortium to develop this collaborative vision.
The Neighborhood Revitalization Strategic Framework is a set of neighborhood revitalization recommendations that is the work of a unique, multi-sector collaborative representing over 85 community development organizations, government, funding institutions, businesses, educational institutions, and city-wide and regional nonprofit organizations. CDAD Futures Task Force members have worked diligently to inspire a vision in which all Detroiters can participate. CDAD’s framework is a vision for a new Detroit, one that is spacious, gracious, green and industrious.