Throughout the 2023 Detroit Policy Conference, four local changemakers took the stage to deliver TEDx Talk-style impact stories that highlighted industry-specific calls to action that can continue elevating downtown Detroit.
These Power Perspectives were sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.
Creating an Inclusive Downtown: Antoine Bryant, Director, Planning and Development Department, City of Detroit
“A vibrant, active, inclusive downtown has nothing to do with the buildings that are erected and everything to do with the people that are selected,” is the motto when it comes to curating a space that is welcoming to Detroiters and not just visitors, according to Bryant.
With 77.9% of the city’s residents identifying as African American, it’s essential that they feel ownership over this space they have historically felt uncomfortable using. The city can combat exclusivity by curating diverse activities, dining, shopping, and entertainment that will ensure they feel comfortable, which will make them feel empowered, which in turn will make them feel invited. Once they feel invited, they will invite others, and downtown will continue to grow into a destination where everyone feels welcomed.