We Make It Happen, and It Counts

Triangle shaped DDP logo with We Make it Happen phrase in the center

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By Eric B. Larson

An aspect I find extremely enriching in my role is the privilege it affords me to engage with other city leaders across the country facilitating an invaluable exchange new urban planning and design strategies. Additionally, this allows me an opportunity to showcase innovative initiatives we’re doing in Detroit.

Last month, I had such an opportunity in Washington, DC, at the Downtown Futuring Workshop hosted by the Federal City Council and IDEO. The workshop brought together a diverse group of civic and business leaders across states, industries, and vocations to generate and share big ideas for the future of DC’s Downtown.

One particularly valuable exercise at the workshop involved “The Futures Triangle,” a method that asked us to look across a city’s three dimensions: the weight of the past, the push of the present, and the pull of the future. What was clear is that Detroit is not alone; many cities face the challenge of preserving their rich historical heritage while accommodating modern development.

Examples reflect on efforts to seamlessly blend historical sites with contemporary urban planning. Additionally, as urban populations change, the pressure on infrastructure, transportation, and housing becomes more intense. Cities across the globe are focusing on sustainable transportation, such as bike-sharing programs, and investment in public transit, to not only address the present demands but also lay the foundation for a more sustainable future. Many forward-looking cities are investing in innovative initiatives that anticipate the needs of tomorrow.

As city leaders across the country continue to collaborate and explore these dimensions – the weight of the past, the push of the present, and the pull of the future – the collective knowledge and innovative practices will shape cities into vibrant, sustainable, and resilient hubs for generations to come. The path that Detroit and other cities take today will determine the urban landscape of tomorrow, and the ongoing exchange of ideas is a key catalyst for this transformation.

What’s the common denominator making all of this happen?

It’s the Downtown Detroit Partnership.

The DDP “Makes It Happen”…24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Each day the DDP team is evolving and expanding our knowledge of urban practices to benefit our city, its visitors, and its residents for generations. This commitment is a testament to DDP’s stewardship as well as Detroit’s resilience. It is a model for other cities seeking to balance the push of the present with the pull of the future.

“It” is everything we do.

Of course, we can’t do anything without our members. This month, we’ll launch a new campaign to grow our ranks. We want every business to join us in keeping the momentum in Detroit going strong.

We know there are many organizations businesses are asked to join, and there is considerable value to every one of them. Each with a unique set of benefits for its membership.  

But today, my challenge for you is to consider what our Downtown would be like if the DDP did not execute the actions above. If we did not, make all this happen in Downtown Detroit. Once you do that, you’ll see why joining us in our mission is so important.

If you’re ready to learn more, I encourage you to contact Mary Riegle today.

Stay in the know and join DDP’s mailing list at the following link: https://downtowndetroit.org/contact-connect/newsletter-signup/

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