The future of downtowns across the country remains a hot topic as civic and business leaders navigate a post-pandemic environment unlike anything in their lifetimes.
In Detroit, like cities around the world, leaders are reimagining public spaces, office and residential use, and the functionality of downtown business districts. Those topics and many others will take center stage at the Detroit Policy Conference on Jan. 10.
“Detroit’s resurgence has been one of the greatest success stories of the past decade, but the pandemic has brought on new challenges and dynamics no one would have predicted a few years ago,” said Devon O’Reilly, the Chamber’s senior director of community engagement and leadership development who oversees planning of the event. “The 2023 Detroit Policy Conference will look at continued revitalization efforts underway and the critical decisions ahead to keep that momentum going.”
Renowned urbanist and co-founder of Creative Class Group Richard Florida will set the backdrop for the day sharing his insight on the future of cities. In his keynote at the 2021 Mackinac Policy Conference, Florida called the central business district “the last relic of the industrial age” as cities adapt to “remote working ecosystems.”
The Downtown Detroit Partnership’s Chief Executive Officer Eric Larson will then help localize Florida’s framework through a keynote on work occurring downtown.
“We are going to start the day by looking at the national landscape and trends, and then translate what that means on the ground downtown as we work together to build a more equitable and prosperous city,” O’Reilly said.
Following Florida and Larson, speakers and panelists from the Grand Prix’s Bud Denker to Huntington National Bank’s Gary Torgow to Strategic Staff Solutions’ Cindy Pasky to Queen Lillian’s Christopher Jackson will provide their perspectives on the future of everything from events to the return to office work to development downtown.
The event has more than 30 sponsors and will be held at MotorCity Casino Hotel, which is the presenting sponsor.