In this episode, Mike Bills interviews Mark Wallace, President and CEO of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy. The Detroit riverfront has been key in the ongoing reinvention and revitalization of Detroit.

This interview tells the story of the Detroit Riverfront and how the Conservancy has played a big part  in developing this significant city asset.

“Every major city in the US was founded near a waterway...for (hundreds of) years the Detroit Riverfront was a place where industry happens and goods and services come and go. In the past ten or 11 years we’ve radically transformed that.” (3:17)

“We’ve provided a gathering space that’s really meaningful for our community...I think the other thing we’ve done in terms of moving the region forward is we’ve demonstrated leadership in public/private partnerships.” (14:00)

Around 4:15 Mark elaborates on the process that lead individuals and organizations recognize it was time to repurpose the way residents and visitors were interacting with the Detroit River, and how the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy came to be.

Jump to the 10:00 mark and listen as Mark shares a story about a visiting executive that illustrates how remarkable the transformation of the riverfront has been.

1 – Reinvention takes vision, time and persistence. The redevelopment of the Detroit Riverfront has been more than 11 years in the making.

2 - Even though something has served the same purpose for a long time, there are always ways to put it to new use. The Detroit River was primarily an industrial waterway for hundreds of years. Today, it’s a beautiful, useful space for visitors and residents to gather and experience the area in a new way.

3 – Reinventing one major component typically results in change to additional products or services. Since the redevelopment of the riverfront, many nearby businesses and neighborhoods have began to grow and change.

4 – Creating a meaningful gathering space draws diversity and new supporters. Now that the riverfront’s breathtaking views and modernized space can be enjoyed in a clean, safe environment more and more people are coming to enjoy it.

5 – Enlisting collaborators from multiple sources paves the way for an idea to develop into a tangible asset. The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy sought out public/private partnerships to maximize the growth and development of the riverfront as a shared asset for various stakeholders.

Direct download: Mark_Wallace_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am EDT






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