We started our morning itinerary at Campus Martius, the award-winning public space in downtown Detroit. My colleague Luke Forrest (pictured below with Christine Meyer at the Riverfront) was kind enough to meet us there and tell the fellows about Campus Martius and the Riverfront. Since it was late in the season, the ice skating rink had already been taken down. It was snowing and blustery when we were there–not a super nice day to take visitors around but they were very good-natured. We headed down to the Riverfront and to the Underground Railroad statue.
We went to the Detroit City Council meeting, and during a lovely presentation were given “Spirit of Detroit” Awards from Council President Brenda Jones. Below, City Clerk Janice Winfrey calls us up and I introduce the fellows to the Council.
After the council meeting the fellows took advantage of the cultural offerings in the city and visited the Detroit Institute of Arts.
Our next itinerary stop was to the Grandmont-Rosedale Development Corporation (GRDC) to talk about housing and neighborhoods and the work they are doing to stablilize the neighborhood. We were even able to go inside a house the GRDC is rehabbing. They buy homes, rehab them and resell them (well this is a portion of what they do).
Last but not least, we drove to the Heidelberg Project. Given its name, the Heidelberg Project is known in Germany, and the German fellows were eager to see it–they wondered what it would look like in person after seeing it on TV. I asked them and it seemed to live up to their expectations–I think it was spaced out further than they thought. Here is our photo–the yellow bag is from the city of Cottbus Germany and part of their city contest to get the bag photographed in all types of places for a photo contest.
The fellowship was a wonderful sharing of municipal practices and the added benefit of building intercultural and international relationships. Henrik wrote this after he returned home and received the photo of us at the Detroit City Council Meeting: Because of the ceremony our names will ever be linked to the city of Detroit and Michigan as well (and so will our hearts). What a lovely sentiment. I felt the same way about Dusseldorf, Oldenburg, Cottbus, and Munich, the four cities I was connected to during my fellowship in Germany.