Week of events will promote a more livable Detroit

communities / Article

Beginning June 22, Detroit will host Gil Penalosa (photo above), an internationally renowned livable city adviser who is passionate about creating vibrant and healthy communities.

Gil—whose mantra is “Every city should have a law of two words: Pedestrians First!”—founded 8 80 Cities, a nonprofit dedicated to the transformation of cities into places where people can walk, bike, access public transit and visit vibrant parks and public places.

Many community partners, including Knight Foundation, are joining the conversation and hosting events. Others include Jefferson East, Inc., the Wayne State University Office of Economic Development, City of Detroit General Services Department, Grosse Pointe War Memorial, Detroit Future City, Community Development Advocates of Detroit and more.

Gil’s work dovetails with our efforts here at Knight Foundation to make cities like Detroit better places to live. To do that, we invest in civic innovators who help cities attract and keep talented people, expand economic opportunity and create a culture of engagement. Designing places to achieve these goals is crucial to city success. Come hear how we can do that in Detroit. There are multiple opportunities the week of June 22 to see and hear from Gil and 8 80 Cities.


• “Detroit Today” on WDET-FM. 9-10 a.m.  Listen in as Gil Penalosa guests on WDET’s “Detroit Today” to kick off the week of Move Detroit activities.


• Walking tour: “Envisioning the Beltline Greenway.” 10-11 a.m. Location: Gleaners Community Food Bank (2131 Beaufait, Detroit 48207) Register for event here.

• Workshop: “Great Streets!” 11:15 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Location: Gleaners Community Food Bank (2131 Beaufait, Detroit 48207) Register for event here.

• Keynote lecture/panel: “We Are All City Builders: How to Create Vibrant, Inclusive and Innovative Cities for All.” 5:30-8 p.m. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., keynote and conversation at 6, Reception at 7:30. Location: Community Arts Building (450 Reuther Mall, Wayne State University)  Register for event here.


• Discussion: “People Make Great Parks.” 8:30-10:45 a.m. Location: Belle Isle Casino (1 Casino Way, on Belle Isle). Register for event here.

• Workshop: “Riverfront Parks Planning.” 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Location: Belle Isle Casino (1 Casino Way, on Belle Isle). Register for event here.

• Talk/discussion: “Sustainable Mobility for a Vital Region.” 6:30-9:30 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., talk at 7 p.m., discussion at 8:30 p.m. Location: Grosse Pointe War Memorial (32 Lakeshore Rd, Grosse Pointe Farms). Register for event here.


• Panel: “Downtowns for Everyone: Equity and Inclusiveness.” 4-5:30 p.m. This is a plenary session of the International Downtown Association Midwest Urban District Forum and will be open to the public. Gil Penalosa will participate as a panelist. Location: Campus Martius Park (800 Woodward Ave., Detroit). No registration required.

• Workshop: “Strengthening the City’s Neighborhoods.” 6:30-8:30 p.m. Location: Northwest Activities Center (18100 Meyers, Detroit 48235). Register for event here.


• Presentation/Discussion: “An Open Streets Event in Detroit.” 9-11 a.m. Location: Solanus Casey Center (1780 Mt. Elliott, Detroit 48207). Register for event here.

For more information about the events, Gil Penalosa, 8 80 Cities and the partners visit goeastjefferson.org/8-80-cities-immersion-week.

Katy Locker is Detroit program director for Knight Foundation. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @katylockerindetroit.

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