Urban Design / Downtown Revitalization

Education Session - Presentation Format

SAT-B11 - Public Open Space: The Driving Force in Detroit’s Transformation

Saturday, October 20
2:30 PM - 4:00 PM
Location: 121


Vacant land is Detroit’s greatest asset, where greenways, gardens, parks, and plazas establish a vision of hope. Persistent Detroiters are reclaiming the riverfront, rail corridors, alleys, and vacant lots so that thoughtfully designed spaces can elevate daily experiences, strengthen connections to landscape and each other, and catalyze Detroit’s transformation.

Learning Objectives:

Maurice Cox

Planning and Development Director
City of Detroit

As Planning and Development Director for the City of Detroit, Maurice leads the long-term vision for a redeveloped Detroit—evolving strategies to improve neighborhoods, boost stable areas with new development, and devise uses for vacant lots. Previously, Maurice served as Associate Dean for Community Engagement at Tulane University’s School of Architecture, and Director of the Tulane City Center. As Design Director of the National Endowment for the Arts from 2007-2010, he led the Your Town Rural Institute, the Governors’ Institute on Community Design, the Mayors’ Institute on City Design, and oversaw design grants across the United States.


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Susan Mosey

Executive Director
Midtown Detroit, Inc.

For twenty-nine years, Susan Mosey has been the Executive Director of the non-profit Midtown Detroit, Inc. (MDI), the driving force for community development, marketing, real estate, small business development, open space and arts programming within Detroit’s University Cultural Center and New Center districts – an area now known as Midtown. Under her direction the organization has undertaken new streetscapes and parks, greenway planning and construction, and residential and commercial real estate development and management. MDI manages public space maintenance and security for the district and produces a number of signature arts events, including Art X Detroit, DLECTRICITY and Noel Night.


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Lori Singleton, ASLA

Principal, Landscape Architect

Lori is passionate about bringing people together with the natural environment through the inventive, yet functional design of vital public spaces. As a Principal Landscape Architect at SmithGroupJJR with 20 years’ experience, Lori seeks to leverage vacant or underutilized spaces as a catalyst for meaningful place-making in urban areas. With a unique understanding of the project context, Lori is able to instill large-scale transformational change through a network of incremental, community-based projects that successfully synthesize the unique needs, perspectives and realities of clients and the community. Lori frequently serves as co-instructor for the University of Michigan Metro Studio.


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SAT-B11 - Public Open Space: The Driving Force in Detroit’s Transformation

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