Transit oriented development focus of gathering
DEARBORN – Residents and business owners are invited to an interactive community forum, with refreshments and door prizes included, on Dec. 12 to share ideas for development near the city’s intermodal passenger rail station.
The forum will begin with a presentation at 6 p.m. in Studio A at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center, 15801 Michigan Ave., followed by interactive activities until 7:30 p.m. Hors d’oeuvres and light fare will be available beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Coordinated by the City Plan Division and the Economic and Community Development Department, and facilitated by experts from MIPlace Partnership, the forum will ask participants to think about the look and feel of the area near the train station, now under construction on Michigan Avenue east of Brady Street.
The forum has the tag line: “Lend us your imagination…be part of Dearborn’s transformation.”
The city was one of five in Michigan to win a competitive grant to earn MIPlace Partnership’s expertise. MIPlace will focus on the area around the new train station.
Creating a sense of place means planning future economic developments in the area with the community’s characteristics in mind.
Placemaking is based on the understanding that thriving communities are sites that attract employees, where connections can happen, where productivity and creativity increase, and where networks foster collaboration and innovation.
Using transportation hubs, such as the train station, as a focus for placemaking projects is called transit oriented development, and has been successfully applied in towns around the country.
T.O.D. is not a familiar concept, but participants should not be intimated, said Barry Murray, director of the city’s Economic and Community Development Department.
“Please come and share your ideas about how the west Dearborn area can capitalize on the benefits of having a major train station in one of our downtowns,” he said, “and how we can build on our community’s traditions to generate a unique sense of place.
“It’s meant to be fun, while at the same time giving people a chance to speak up about what they think should be included in the future development of west Dearborn neighborhoods and business areas.”
The forum is open to the public, including residents throughout Dearborn, business owners, and those who work and go to school in Dearborn.
The event will set the stage for a three-day forum, known as a charette, which will take place in January.
Supporting the event through door prizes, food and beverages include: Joe Vicari’s Andiamo Italian Steakhouse, Bailey’s Pub & Grille, BD Mongolian Grill, L.A. Bistro, Merle Norman, Sophia’s Giftique, Starbucks Coffee Company, The Post Bar and Westborn Market.