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G-Sync: We are the future now (reflections on UIX Detroit)

Excerpt:

As I drove back from Detroit on Sunday, I couldn't help being a bit overwhelmed as I processed nearly a week's worth of experiences from the Detroit Design FestivalDLECTRICITY, and the first Urban Innovation Exchange (UIX) hosted by UIX Detroit and Claire Nelson, director at UIX.

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Adroit Detroit and the re-branding of the Rust Belt

Excerpt:

I moved to Pittsburgh from a city with enough hype to last 200 years, even if nothing truly great happens there for as much time. I am talking about New York—lauded in songs and on shopping bags, T-Shirts, movies and assorted souvenirs made in China. I’ve attended concerts in other countries where the performer asks: “is Brooklyn in the house,” and the answer is always, invariably: yes.

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Publisher's Diary: The power of thinking small at UIX

Excerpt:

After day one of the Greater Philadelphia Leadership Exchange in Boston, I've toured the Innovation District, networked with many colleagues from the Philadelphia region, and taken in much of the beauty of the downtown core. Cranes hang high in the air as markers of a continual development boom and the price of real estate continues to skyrocket. 

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$5 million Knight Cities Challenge opens for ideas

Excerpt:

What’s your best idea to make cities more successful? [The Knight Foundation has started] a journey to answer that question and uncover new thinking from civic innovators of all kinds everywhere. We call it the Knight Cities Challenge, and Knight Foundation is investing $5 million to move these ideas forward.

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Detroit's Historic Market Key to City's Future

Excerpt:

In Detroit's version of New York City's meatpacking district, the meat is still being packed. And local business owners—in addition to a growing number of residents—say that's the key to one of the economic bright spots in this depressed city that is working its way through bankruptcy court.

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Detroit's Eastern Market shaping vision for the future

Excerpt:

Since completion of the 2008 Eastern Market Strategic Plan more than $40 million has been invested in infrastructure and shed improvements, new Tuesday and Sunday Markets have launched and a score of new businesses have opened.

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Here's The Vibrant Detroit Neighborhood A New York Times Columnist Considers An 'Urban Wasteland'

Excerpt:

If you're from Detroit, you learn to get used to people talking about your beloved city as if it's in a post-apocalyptic dystopian movie. But the misconception still stings, especially when it comes from The New York Times.

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15 Photos That Capture Real Life on the Streets of Detroit Today

Excerpt:

In a city that’s been marred by destruction, photographer Dave Jordano finds resilience. The faces and environments that he captures in Detroit — his place of birth — have endured countless hits to the economy, industry and population. But the communal living, public gardens, lively murals and alternative methods of earning income that Jordano photographs show not what has been destroyed, but what has survived and has been created anew. As opposed to the often muted tones of crumbling buildings and boarded up houses, Jordano’s colorful depiction of Detroit attests to the dynamic city that fosters growth and creativity.“Detroiter’s wear their pride for the city they live in much like an honored badge of courage,” Jordano says in his artist statement, “defying all odds, openly admitting that if you can survive here, you can survive just about anywhere.” 


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How Detroit has streamlined its fight against blight

Excerpt

Facing the largest municipal bankruptcy in American history, Detroit has adopted diverse solutions to give itself a facelift. The city is tackling blight and dilapidated homes with help from technology like smartphone apps and online crowdsourcing, and offering incentives to attract new residents. Special correspondent Christy McDonald of Detroit Public Television investigates Detroit’s progress.

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Knight Arts announces 58 Detroit winners

Excerpt:

Fifty-eight winning arts projects will divide $2.48 million in the second year of the Detroit Knight Arts Challenge program, the Knight Foundation announced.

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Dlectricity illuminates the streets of Detroit

Excerpt:

The epiphany came when Jonathan Lewald was enjoying a projected light installation at the nighttime arts festival Dlectricity.

“Detroit’s coming back, baby,” he turned and yelled to no one in particular, his face flecked with dancing reflections. “This is what we do!”

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Oprah presents Detroit Kitchen Connect leader with $25K grant


In the short year since Devita Davison started Detroit Kitchen Connect, she has helped many of Detroit's burgeoning food entrepreneurs expand operations, bringing them out of their homes and into a licensed commercial kitchen. It's an opportunity that, without the help of a group like Detroit Kitchen Connect, not every hopeful business can afford. So it's no surprise that Devita and her group would be given a large grant to help grow.

What was a surprise, certainly to Devita, is the fact that Olympian Amy Purdy and American icon Oprah Winfrey would be the people presenting her that grant. And in front of 10,000 or so people, no less.

But there Devita was, Saturday, September 13, standing onstage on the second night of Oprah's The Life You Want event at the Palace of Auburn Hills. As Oprah leaned into Devita and said that she'd hold her through this, Purdy presented Devita with a $25,000 Toyota Standing O-Vation award for her commitment to supporting local food entrepreneurs.

Oprah's people approached Devita months ago, crafting the story that while they had no plans for the footage, they'd like to come down and create a video piece on the work she and Detroit Kitchen Connect have been doing. Maybe they'd find some use for it somewhere in Oprah's media empire, they said. Months later, they offered Devita tickets to the show at the Palace but, as she tells it, “I found out at 4:59. I got on stage at 5:00.”

The video was played, a check was presented, and the crowd cheered. And while hearing part of your life story narrated by Oprah is no doubt thrilling, Devita is able to keep the focus on the city and the work being done here.

"The story was told in a way that shows Detroit is coming back, but that it's also a city that is doing it from the ground up," says Devita. "It's an initiative accomplished through community capital. It's grassroots."

In that spirit, Detroit Kitchen Connect will be using some of the money to help community partner Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Cathedral in southwest Detroit. The church is in desparate need of infrastructure repairs after experiencing two to three feet of flooding during one of this summer's heavy rainfalls. They plan on buying a better mixer for their bakers, too, along with a new oven. A local food entrepreneur scholarship program will also receive a boost.



Source: Devita Davison, Community Kitchen Coordinator at Detroit Kitchen Connect
Writer: MJ Galbraith

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

From #UIXDET 2014: Eve Picker, CEO of cityLAB Pittsburgh

Eve Picker's world is wrapped around cities and change. Her background as an architect, city planner, urban designer, real estate developer, community development strategist, publisher and instigator, gives her a rich understanding of how cities work, how urban neighborhoods can be revitalized, what policies are needed to do it, and the unique marketing that creates the buzz needed for regeneration. With cityLAB in Pittsburgh, her first non-profit venture, Eve is turning her passion for cities to broader, city-wide revitalization issues.

Picker will speak at the UIX Forum: The Art of Place on Wednesday, September 24 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. View her TEDxTalk, "My Cure for the Common City," here

From #UIXDET 2014: Joan Vorderbruggen, Made Here Minneapolis

Excerpt:

"There's really no better word that can be used to accurately describe Joan Vorderbruggen than "dynamic." Vorderbruggen has a dynamic personality that she is able to use to lead dynamic public art projects that she creates from the ground up, working with a multitude of different artists and arts organizations (not to mention different personalities), all of whom adore her. She is an organizer, a leader, and a true inspiration – a word that maybe gets tossed around a bit too liberally but in Vorderbruggen's case is absolutely appropriate."

Vorderbruggen will speak at the UIX Forum: The Art of Place on Wednesday, September 24 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. View her full profile in Creative Exchange here.

Global Detroit expands efforts to retain and attract immigrant talent

Excerpt:

Southwest Detroit is frequently discussed as the one working-class neighborhood in Detroit that is revitalizing. It’s blessed by some of the most innovative and sophisticated nonprofit arts and community development corporations in the nation.  While the community (as defined by the new Detroit City Council districts) is 39 percent African-American, 39 percent Latino and 18 percent white, it accounts for about half of the 35,000 foreign-born residents in the city. The neighborhood’s emerging success and its demographic makeup are not a coincidence.

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