Placed Based Initiatives

Community development is largely about place. Much of what we do is rooted in neighborhoods, buildings, and corridors. CDAD’s place-based work places resident and stakeholder knowledge at the very heart of our work with neighborhoods. Many neighborhoods in Detroit are facing challenges such as housing instability and lack of investment. These are the neighborhoods where community development organizations and resident-based groups work tirelessly to create positive change. We believe place matters .Our place-based work has two main components: community planning (Strategic Framework) and neighborhood placemaking.

Community Planning/Strategic Framework

Our community planning process called Strategic Framework has helped communities across the city to develop a shared vision, engage in policy change and, leverage hundreds of thousands of dollars in new funding. Our planning process builds on the expertise of residents and stakeholders by putting them at the center of planning. They are at the heart of the committee that plans the process and that works with residents to develop a shared vision, land use and quality of life plans, and strengthen relationships in the community. Our process includes ten land use typologies that complement each other and provide enough options for neighborhoods to create appropriate and exciting future land use decisions.

Our planning process has been use on the lower eastside (LEAP), in Springwells Village, Northeast Detroit, Brightmoor, and Cody Rouge. The next communities we will work with are the city airport area and Chadsey Condon.

Neighborhood Placemaking

Neighborhood placemaking is the process of the community coming together to create great public spaces in their communities. These spaces can be in parks, vacant lots, on commercial streets, alley ways or any other available spaces. Public spaces are crucial in community development work. These are the spaces where people meet each other and talk about their communities. These are the spaces where barriers between people are lessened as they watch their children play. These are critical spaces for community engagement and organizing.

Through our CDAD placemaking grant, we supported seven unique placemaking projects across the city. These projects ranged from an outdoor ecological education center to part of a functioning tortilla factory converted into an arts hub. In 2016, CDAD developed a partnership with the Detroit 67 Project to coordinate a placemaking effort that commemorates the events of 1967. The theme for these projects is ‘looking back to move forward’.

For more information about CDAD’s place-based initiatives, please contact Madhavi Reddy, CDAD Strategic Framework Manager by email at or by calling 313.832.4566.

SF Guide
Guide CDAD Typologies
Brightmoor plan
NED Plan
Cody Rouge Plan