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Neighborhood Planning Course Led By Etienne Completes Research on Herman Kiefer Redevelopment for City of Detroit

Monday, June 19, 2017

Neighborhood Planning Course Led By Etienne Completes Research on Herman Kiefer Redevelopment for City of Detroit

As the first step in redeveloping the 18-acre site of a former health complex in Detroit, the Herman Keifer Health Complex, assistant professor Harley Etienne has submitted a report to the City of Detroit's Planning Office which includes case studies from similar sites in other cities, history about the site, and analysis of the area’s population, housing, and economic characteristics.

The Herman Keifer Health Complex in Central Detroit is currently poised for a large-scale redevelopment effort. The site is surrounded by several dozen blocks of fallow land and two large abandoned schools that if redeveloped in conjunction with the Herman Kiefer Complex could inspire catalytic development. In the Fall 2015 term, Etienne’s Urban Planning / Social Work cross-listed Neighborhood Planning course completed a demographic analysis of the communities surrounding the site and interviews with area leaders and key institutional stakeholders at the request of Maurice Cox, City of Detroit Planning Director. Students also completed case study profiles of comparable developments in several other cities. In a recent Crain’s Detroit Business article Cox mentions the importance of such collaborations with universities in planning for the future revitalization of Detroit neighborhoods. At the final presentation by the class to Mr. Cox, he requested that students elaborate on their work and present it in a report which will both be a detailed resource to guide the city’s and developer’s aspirations for the project and an accessible document that could be distributed more widely with community stakeholders. As a next step, the 2016 Taubman College Research Through Planning Grant allowed for assistant professor Etienne to hire two students to respond to Mr. Cox’s initial feedback, and create this professional report that can be used and disseminated widely.

For the Full Report: Planning for the Reuse of the Herman Kiefer Complex