Taubman College

Research, Outreach, and Funding / Detroit Community Partnership Center

The Detroit Community Partnership Center at Taubman College supports student and faculty projects that address community identified needs and that advance the education and knowledge building mission of the University of Michigan.

Projects aim to support the work of Detroit community leaders and city officials who are working to strengthen neighborhoods.

Students and faculty undertake projects that:

  • Improve systems, so as to have broad effects on the quality of life. For instance, students and faculty proposed policy for urban agriculture, proposed a structure for a land bank to handle tax-reverted property, and detailed a plan for using large databases and computer mapping to understand neighborhood change.
  • Create models for planning and design that others can use. This year students and faculty showed new approaches to designing affordable housing for community-specific needs, and they provided a clear example of how to use neighborhood revitalization to strengthen housing.
  • Support community-based change initiatives. Students and faculty developed a plan for a retail district where three community based organizations were ready to act and provided analysis to an organization ready to work for greater transportation equity. Students also seek to achieve these aims through internships.

Their work meets community needs while they gain professional experience. Students serve Detroit neighborhoods through the Michigan Neighborhood AmeriCorps Program (part of the national community service program) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Development Work Study Program. In many courses students gain the knowledge and skills they need to have an impact on projects they later undertake with community partners. The Physical Planning Workshop is one such course where students learn through application of ideas to Detroit. Faculty research projects examine Detroit issues and make recommendations for changes that apply not only to Detroit but also to many of the nation's cities. Faculty projects address quality of life, land use, economic development, and transportation.

UM Detroit Center