The ULI Spring Meeting was a great experience, and there could not have been a more opportune time to visit Detroit as a guest on the Urban Revitalization Council (URC). As Detroit continues to push growth as a city formerly built to hold over 2 million people, the URC council had a front row seat to the key players creating new opportunities and experiences in bringing life back to the “D”. With several exciting panels and tours in and around the city throughout our council day, I was able to thoroughly experience Detroit from a very focused lens over two days.
The activities began with the pre-council dinner and walking tour. This was a great way to kick off the council, connecting with members and other council guests while learning about historical and architectural treasures that have been preserved throughout Detroit’s history. During dinner, the guest speaker provided a breadth of knowledge and history behind the Grand Army of the Republic Building with the opportunity to explore the converted space originally built for military veterans. Over the next day, the council had the opportunity to hear from several stakeholders and professionals who have been pioneering efforts to revitalize the city. The panelist and speakers ranged from urban planners, community development corporations, and journalist to local entrepreneurs and developers. At the conclusion of URC council day, I can certainly say I came away with a good grasp of Detroit’s rich history and could feel the energy behind the revitalization efforts in restoring the “D” to its former glory.