Detroit Works Project launches with first of citywide neighborhood meetings

DETROIT, Mich. (WXYZ) - A community meeting held Tuesday night was supposed to be a listening session for residents to give their ideas on the city's future. But some of the sessions broke out into arguing and yelling.

It was the first session for Mayor Bing’s Detroit Works Project to redevelop much of Detroit's vacant or underutilized land.

The project is meant to redefine the city's landscape.

Mayor Dave Bing announced the initiative in a recent speech from City Hall, and spoke to Action News about his expectations.

"I want to be a realist and know that we are not going to solve the problem in one meeting or in five meetings," Bing said.

The city's 139 square miles are riddled with vacant or underutilized land and abandoned homes. The mayor considers this issue a major obstacle to the city's success. He says the project is critical for the city to become safer, more efficient and more attractive to employers and residents.

The mayor and his team want input from city residents. Four more meetings have been scheduled for the rest of this month and 40 more will be scheduled over the course of the next year.

"I think this is the most important initiative that we've had in the last several years in the city of Detroit," Bing said.

Public meetings have been scheduled for the following times and places:

Thursday, September 16 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the American Serbian Memorial Hall on Van Dyke

Saturday, September 18 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Whittier Manor

Tuesday, September 21 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m at El Kiosko Banquet Hall on Dix

Wednesday, September 22 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History