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2021: A Walkable Community: Connecting East Canfield Village

Student-Led, Faculty-Guided Project (2021)

Authors: Renee Pellegrini


This project aimed to comprehensively examine the challenges of excessive unproductive land rather than isolated and individual approaches that may or may not align with concurrent community initiatives in the East Canfield Village located on the Eastside of Detroit. Three deliverables were produced as a result of community engagement efforts, several field analyses and thorough research of greenway initiatives both within other Detroit neighborhoods and across the country: 1) a holistic high-level vacant land use strategy for East Canfield Village; 2) a detailed design vision for the “Canfield Connect,” a neighborhood greenway, comprised of a network of vacant contiguous and/or adjacent lots, and 3) a complete Detroit Land Bank Authority acquisition application that will allow the Canfield Consortium to make this project a reality. The expectation is that these 3 products will seamlessly and successfully stitch together multiple neighborhood and community revitalization initiatives seeking to strengthen affordable housing, improve resident health, spur workforce and entrepreneurial opportunities, encourage smaller/informal neighborhood hubs, improve mobility and support more productive and innovative landscapes.

This project was a collaborative relationship Canfield Consortium Community Development Corporation and residents of the East Canfield Village in Detroit and Wayne State University.

Author Information

Renee Pellegrini graduated with a Master of Public Administration and a Graduate Certificate in Economic Development from Wayne State University in May 2021. She has previously served as an AmeriCorps member transitioning families experiencing homelessness into stable housing; a 2019-2020 Challenge Detroit Fellow and completed a Public Policy internship with Detroit Housing Commission, spring 2021. This project immersed her further in the history and culture of Detroit and she looks forward to future endeavors supporting the growth and reimagination of Detroit’s neighborhoods.

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Faculty Member: Dr. Kyu-Nahm Jun, MPA Director and Associate Professor, Department of Political Science

Community Client: Canfield Consortium Community Development Corporation

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