As the director of planning and development for the city of Detroit, Michigan, Maurice Cox has been leading the city's revitalization efforts. Beyond the downtown boom, his planning department has been reconnecting the city's waterfronts, rebuilding neighborhoods and engaging the community to spark a recovery that lasts.
Named one of “20 Masters of Design” in 2004 by Fast Company magazine and one of the "Most Admired Design Educators in America" in 2013 by Design Intelligence, Cox discusses his experience leading an "inclusive recovery" and what that means for Houston and other cities.
“Unless you have created a recovery in the neighborhoods, you really haven’t recovered at all,” Cox told a packed auditorium. Detroit, once a bankrupt city, is now on the upswing, with new construction and housing developments in downtown and midtown, but work remains to be done in the city’s hard-hit neighborhoods. To encourage an inclusive recovery, Cox and his team incorporated community feedback in their plans to make neighborhoods more walkable, bikeable and commercial friendly. They made transformative changes by rehabilitating vacant homes and transforming vacant lots into parks and gardens. Other empty tracts of land were stitched together to create greenways and shared spaces. “Detroit is trying to do something that is aspirational, and that is to build one city for all of us,” added Cox
About Maurice Cox
Maurice Cox is the planning director for the city of Detroit. He most recently served as associate dean for community engagement at Tulane University’s School of Architecture and director of the Tulane City Center, a university-affiliated practice operating at the intersection of design, urban research and civic engagement throughout New Orleans.
Cox previously taught at Syracuse University, the University of Virginia and Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. He also served as design director of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) from 2007-2010, where he led the NEA’s Your Town Rural Institute, the Governors’ Institute on Community Design, the Mayors’ Institute on City Design, and oversaw grants to the design community across the United States.
He was named one of “20 Masters of Design” in 2004 by Fast Company magazine for his experience merging architecture, politics and design education. In 2013, Cox was named one of the “Most Admired Design Educators in America” in the annual ranking of Design Intelligence.
About the Kinder Institute Forum
The Kinder Institute Forum lecture series brings thought leaders from around the world to Houston to share ideas about the most pressing urban issues facing us today. Previous KI Forum speakers have included Pulitzer Prize-winning author Matthew Desmond, global urbanist Richard Florida and Kresge Foundation senior fellow Carol Coletta.
CenterPoint Energy is the title sponsor of the Kinder Institute Forum series. This program is eligible for 1.5 CM credits from the American Planning Association.