The Detroit Works Project launched on September 14, 2010 to high media acclaim. It was supposed to be a a 12- to 18-month effort to map the city’s future and they even signed on a star urban planner named Toni Griffin. Then the whole thing fell pretty flat. Mayor Bing has been avoiding press on the whole issue for months, save for an announcement in July that, basically, more announcements were on the way and that they had picked three areas for some trial projects. For a while it even seemed Griffin, a fellow at Harvard University was fired or left the project. The people at Kresge that pay her salary would neither confirm or deny. So now, 15 months later, the whole thing is starting over. The website's been rebooted, Griffin's back in and they've added an architect named Dan Pitera to the team. The new goal is to get a framework plan by the end of August and "rally the community behind the effort," according to M Live. Seems like all the rallying happened when the project was announced, so we're concerned all the rah rah's been drained away by months of inaction. But hey, we'll try and withhold judgement for a while since it is a tough job and someone's gotta do it. One sign of hope is that they changed up the super lame-o twitter handle. @DetroitWorksPro was known to re-tweet vaguely pro-Detroit propaganda about a week after it was relevant. Here's hoping that the new @DetroitLongTerm is a bit more "with-it."
· Can This Planner Save Detroit? [Architect Magazine]
· Street team to poster neighborhoods as Mayor Dave Bing resets Detroit Works Project [MLive]
· @DetroitLongTerm [Twitter]