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Shaping Future Cities: An evening discussing Urban Tech in Detroit

September 23, 2019 at 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Shaping Future Cities: An evening discussing Urban Tech in Detroit

Urban transformation is increasingly driven by technological innovation, which is changing the game in areas ranging from housing and mobility to development and construction. Dean Jonathan Massey invites you to join us for an alumni event in Detroit centered around the uses and possibilities of Urban Tech, including the new technologies and development practices that are transforming cities operationally, socially and spatially.

5:30 PM Reception | 6:00 PM Program
Drink and hors d’oeuvres will be provided. 


Mary Culler
Director of Detroit Development, Ford Motor Company

Dan Kinkead, AIA
Principal and National Urban Design Practice Co-Director, SmithGroup

Frank Romo (MUP ’16)
Public Safety and Cyber Security Technician, City of Detroit

Virginia Stanard (MUD / M.Arch ’05)
Principal, City Form Detroit
Assistant Professor of Architecture and Community Development, University of Detroit Mercy

Moderated by Professor Marc Norman
U-M Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning



More about our Panelists:

Mary Culler is Chief of Staff, Office of the Executive Chairman at Ford Motor Company and Detroit Development Director for Ford’s Corktown redevelopment. Mary reports to the Executive Chairman and has responsibility for advancing strategic priorities and shaping internal and external engagement for the Chairman in areas such as sustainability, smart mobility, autonomous driving and corporate citizenship. She is also overseeing the strategic direction of the Michigan Central Station Redevelopment and other Ford properties in Corktown. Prior to this position, Mary was Director, Ford U.S. State and Local Government Relations. In this position, she managed Ford’s engagement with policymakers nationwide on a wide range of automotive issues. Her team also negotiated investment and job creation incentives in Ford plant states. Prior to working for Ford Motor Company, Mary worked for Mayor Daley in the City of Chicago where she managed the City’s Industrial Development Program. Mary also held several positions at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C., including Deputy Director of the National Brownfields program where launched the national program to remove regulatory barriers regarding the cleanup of abandoned industrial properties. She also worked in the U.S. Senate on energy and natural resource issues for the Chair of the Energy and Natural Resource Committee.

Dan Kinkead is leader in SmithGroup’s national urban design practice, bringing 20 years of experience in all scales of mixed-use development, adaptive reuse and strategic planning. Before joining SmithGroup, Dan was the founding director for Detroit Future City, a non-profit think tank formed in 2013 after the release of the seminal Detroit Future City Strategic Framework Plan, for which Dan was the technical leader. Dan’s work includes ongoing design and strategy development for cities, institutions, and private developers. His work is informed by his international advisory roles with the US State Department, participation with the German Marshall Fund, and contributing chapter authorship in research books including Post-Industrial Cities: Lessons from North America and Europe, published by Carnegie Mellon and Routledge, UK (2016), as well as Why Detroit Matters: Decline, Renewal and Hope in a Divided City, published by Policy Press (2017). 

Frank Romo is a real estate developer, urban planner, and community advocate working to positively impact the urban landscape. He is the CEO  of RomoGIS Enterprises: a data, design and research collaborative aimed at promoting the public good through innovative technical solutions and community-driven research. In his practice, Frank seeks to addresses issues of social inequity by providing people with the training and technical solutions needed to empower and inspire residents to make an impact in their local communities. In his free time, Frank also develops urban mapping tools to enhance the urban experience. He is the co-developer of the recently launched Murals in Detroit App, a mapping application that helps citizens navigate and find art throughout the city. In his day job, Frank works for the City of Detroit’s Department of Innovation and Technology implementing new technological solutions for the city’s 911 dispatch, fire and all emergency response systems. Frank’s overall mission is to improve the quality of life for urban residents by performing collaborative research, creating innovative technologies and tackling some of the city’s largest technical challenges. 

Virginia Stanard is an educator and urban designer. She holds positions of Assistant Professor of Architecture and Director of the Master of Community Development (MCD) Program at the University of Detroit Mercy. She is also a Principal at City Form Detroit, a Detroit-based urban design practice. In these roles Stanard has implemented an interdisciplinary and collaborative model of teaching, research, and practice focused on community-based design and planning. Virginia received her Master of Architecture and Master of Urban Design from the University of Michigan and her Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Virginia. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Community Development Advocates of Detroit (CDAD).

Professor Marc Norman is an internationally recognized expert on policy and finance for affordable housing and community development. Trained as an urban planner, he has worked in the field of community development and finance for over 20 years.


September 23, 2019
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Event Category: