Stir It Up
A Detroit community plans for survival
The Lower Eastside Action Plan is more than a LEAP of faith
Published: February 1, 2012
There's plenty more in the plan, such as a Villages Neighborhood Stabilization Initiative to rehabilitate homes and revitalize commercial areas in the Indian Village, East Village, West Village and Islandview Village neighborhoods, and a Jefferson-Chalmers Stabilization project.
"I'm excited," says Joan Moss, executive director of the Church of the Messiah Housing Corporation. "City planners and funders are listening to what we want to do."
Marja Winters, deputy director of the city Planning and Development Department, and City Council President Charles Pugh both spoke briefly, giving witness that the city is paying attention to LEAP's efforts. In fact, a city liaison has been part of the process, so it seems there will be cooperation from downtown in terms of making things happen and maybe no disconnect when it comes to city plans that may affect the area.
"The biggest thing about this project is not the plan but bringing the people from this large footprint together to come up with these solutions together," says Ligon. "Giving them the opportunity to create, rather than someone coming in and saying this is what's going to happen in your community."
There was passing mention of light manufacturing of hydroponic growing systems and the possibility of a fish farm, but those are not on the table in the short term. I've heard a lot of plans to change things in Detroit but this one seems the most well thought out in terms of coordinating ideas and resources. Maybe it will be a giant leap forward for our friends on the lower eastside. If so, it will be a victory for all of us.
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