Sunday, January 1, 2012

Detroit’s Renewal from a Funder’s Perspective

This interview is the first in a series of conversations with friends and members of Living Cities, a philanthropic collaborative of 22 foundations and financial institutions. On September 27th, Living Cities will be hosting a 20th anniversary event with a live webcast available on their website.
Over the past two decades, Living Cities has invested nearly $1 billion in American cities; most recently the organization has focused its efforts and funds on five cities through a program called The Integration Initiative. According to Living Cities, “The Integration Initiative supports cities that are harnessing existing momentum and leadership for change, overhauling long obsolete systems and fundamentally reshaping communities and policies to meet the needs of low-income residents.” In 2010, Detroit was chosen as one of the Integration Initiative sites. It will receive $2.75 million in grants, $4 million in flexible debt, and $15 million in commercial debt from Living Cities members to improve safety, schools, employment, small business opportunities and a host of other aspects of the city’s built environment.
Rip Rapson is the President of the Kresge Foundation and a member of Living Cities’ board. Kresge’s funding in metropolitan Detroit has lead to advances in arts and culture, education, entrepreneurship development, building the green economy, transportation reform, and perhaps most controversially, in land-use reform. He talked with Next American City about the Integration Initiative, innovation in anchor institutions and where Detroit is headed over the next 20 years.

Some old parts of Detroit need gentrification, by Joyce Pedersen (addict2pics)

more about urban revitalization and gentrification:

Manhattan’s Master Plan: Why NYC Looks the Way it Does

Hopeful Footsteps in Mexico City’s Centro Histórico

Norwegian poetics – 2nd life of the industrial city

Waterwalk Sustainable Urban Regeneration Project for Green Brussels Capital

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