What Will the ‘Strong Cities, Strong Communities’ Initiative Really Mean for Detroit?
Detroit Mayor Dave Bing has finally revealed the “something big” coming from the White House that he had alluded to during the June Transformation Detroit media briefing. That something is help from the federal government to revitalize Detroit and maybe help materialize ideas like the Detroit Works Project and the M-1 light rail.
More specifically, Detroit has been chosen to be a part of the “Strong Cities, Strong Communities” initiative launched by the Obama administration to help turn around ailing cities. The announcement by Mayor Bing and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan came last week, and not surprisingly, it has received mixed results.
What Will the Feds Do?
So far, things are still in the works, but according to the Detroit Free Press, the federal government will lend Mayor Bing and his team nine experts in the fields of housing, transportation, jobs and schools for up to two years.
What will these experts do? That’s left for Mayor Bing and his team to decide, but among their issues to tackle will be how Detroit can spend its federal government money more efficiently and effectively.
Who’s Getting Help?
There just aren’t enough resources to go around, so Bing’s plan centers around picking a handful of areas of focus in which to invest time and energy, in the hopes that it will bolster surrounding areas.
The plan is to have between four and 10 of these hotspots, which Bing plans to share by the end of the month.
What Do Detroiters Think?
Concern over federal involvement in Detroit’s business is not a new one, and the recent reveal has sparked its fair share of debate. A lot of criticism comes from those who say that plans to revitalize Detroit have been around for a long time with little action to back them up. Others simple think there’s a bigger issue at hand — finding jobs for all of Detroit’s unemployed.
Where do you stand on the topic? What do you think this initiative will do, or not do for Detroit?
*Update: Mayor Dave shocked many Detroiter’s with his announcement that instead of 10 target cities his initiative was going to focus on helping all of Detroit, and paying special attention to three specific areas: Palmer Woods, Bagley, Boston-Edison and Hubbard Farms.
Photo credit: ifmuth