• A plan to save Detroit: Report calls for a smaller, stronger Motor City [VIDEO]

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    By John Gallagher Detroit Free Press Business Writer

    Some of Detroit’s most vibrant areas would get an infusion of cash and other new services, such as transit and work force training, and other districts now mostly vacant and abandoned would be turned into farms, forests and other landscape uses under the long-awaited Detroit Future City stDetroit_Hero_Graphic6rategy document that is to be released today.

    Following two years of study and 30,000 conversations with the public, the Detroit Works Long-Term Planning team gave the news media a sneak peek Tuesday of its final report that holds out the promise of a better, if radically different, Detroit.

    Under the plan, specific employment and population centers of Detroit would be tagged as areas for future investment — some obvious ones are Midtown and downtown, but another would be the West McNichols hospital corridor, among others.

    Other sparsely populated areas would be gradually transformed to other purposes, such as farms, apple orchards, retention ponds for rainwater and other environmental uses. Some of these areas include the lower east side and the blocks west of the Coleman A. Young International Airport.

    The plan also includes a strategy for encouraging residents in these areas to move to more populated parts of the city. The point is to create more densely packed districts that are already doing relatively well that could be more efficiently served by the city with its limited resources.

    Bing said that the Detroit Future City plan must be viewed as a nonpolitical agenda for future improvement, one that will outlast his own administration. “This has to be a living document.”

    Several council members and mayoral candidates contacted Tuesday gave varying degrees of qualified support for the plan, all acknowledging that Detroit needs some sort of strategy moving forward to deal with vacant land and stretched city services.

    Check out commentary and more details concerning the plan for Detroit in the Detroit Free Press

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