2020 vision: What we're looking forward to in Metro Detroit

Carolyn Loh, professor of urban planning, Wayne State University: More awareness and emphasis on equity issues (in some places). The launch of the Detroit-Ann Arbor connector bus. And locally, in Ann Arbor, the conversation/conflict around density and development continues. 

Kate Knight, director, Downtown Farmington:  If we say it out loud, will it come true? We have to hope that regional public transit will finally gain traction in SE Michigan. The automotive industry will take the lead in establishing a public/private network across the region to increase accessibility for all Metro Detroiters. The Michigan Avenue Corridor will evolve into a high tech thoroughfare with residential nodes and research facilities connecting from the train station in Corktown to the Glass House in Dearborn. Transit-oriented development will pop where there are walkable connections. We’ll continue to see downtowns flourish. Experiential retail, services, markets, and well-designed public spaces will attract additional residential investment and talent to our historic downtown centers at every scale.

Kate Roff, writer and project editor: The 2019 word of the year, according to the Oxford Dictionary, was "climate emergency" (closely followed by around ten other environment-related terms), but I see our region tackling "eco-anxiety" with a technology and knowledge base that few other areas across the U.S. are able to. I'm excited about the "greener" metro Detroit I have witnessed emerging, and it's something I will be keeping an eye on. Some of the stories I have encountered recently impressed me with the way neighborhoods are reclaiming, and celebrating, their natural assets (such as local park systems and the Clinton River). I believe it marks a shift in the mentality here and is a space I want to watch.

Nina Ignaczak, writer and Metromode managing editor: Looking ahead—will the region embrace regionalism or continue to embrace Balkanization? What will the post-L. Brooks Patterson era bring?

John Hartig, scientist and author: I am excited and hopeful about three environmental things in 2020:
  1. Seeing the construction of the Detroit RiverWalk at the former Uniroyal site and the beginning of construction of Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park along the Detroit RiverWalk - both will be game-changers for our city and region
  2. Seeing the completion of the $50 million contaminated sediment remediation project at the Rouge River Old Channel that should be a model for the cleanup of 6.7 million cubic yards contaminated sediment identified in the Detroit River
  3. Seeing the leadership and innovation of Detroit and Windsor in addressing our climate change crisis
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