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Maurice Cox stepping down as Detroit’s planning director

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Cox is expected to take a similar job with the city of Chicago

Courtesy city of Detroit

In a potential setback for Detroit’s citywide planning efforts, news leaked that Maurice Cox is departing his job as director of the Planning and Development Department with the city. The Detroit News reports that he’s expected to take a similar job as the top planning executive for the city of Chicago.

Cox declined to comment on the story, but a source within the city confirmed the information.

Cox was appointed by Mayor Mike Duggan to his post in 2015 with the directive of bringing planning to the neighborhoods. He soon after launched an effort to create framework plans that could guide future development, service improvement, and infrastructure upgrades in neighborhoods across town. They were built around the idea of the “20-minute neighborhood,” which called for mixed-use, walkable districts that had access to local amenities.

In total, 14 were completed, in progress, or soon to begin at the time of this news. Cox told The Detroit News that...

I feel strongly that Detroit’s neighborhoods are receiving the attention that they deserve and people feel strongly that they have a road map for the quality of life for neighborhoods, whether it’s streets, parks, or greenways.

Cox has previously been Mayor of Charlottesville, Virginia, design director of the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, D.C, and both an associate dean at Tulane University’s School of Architecture and director of the Tulane City Center, a design resource center for New Orleans.