New global center for urban transformation arrives in Detroit
World Economic Forum (FEM) is establishing the new Global Center for Urban Transformation with the aim of increasing public-private collaboration in cities and promoting more inclusive and sustainable models of urban development. And the organization plans to move the headquarters of this global initiative to Detroit.
“Our point of view is that there is great work going on that will take place in Detroit. We want to help tell this story and how Detroit can be a role model – an inspiration, really – for other cities around the world. ”—Jeff Merritt, World Economic Forum
The FEM partners with Dan Gilbert’s real estate company Rocky substrate to establish the new head office.
Listen: Jeff Merritt of the World Economic Forum explains why his organization chose Detroit for its new Global Center for Urban Transformation.
Jeff Merritt is responsible for urban transformation for the World Economic Forum. He acknowledges that this kind of effort, and even the word “transformation” itself, sometimes arouses skepticism in places like Detroit.
“When we say “urban transformation”, it’s really just a recognition that cities always have to change, ”he says. “And there are a lot more changes coming down the road.”
“It’s about providing additional support to cities, ”Merritt said. “We are living in unprecedented times. Cities are paying the price. “
He says Detroit was a logical choice for a center like this, and Detroit can both benefit from knowing what works in other cities around the world as well as serving as an example itself.
“Our point of view is that there is great work going on that will take place in Detroit. We want to help tell this story and how Detroit can be a role model – an inspiration, really – for other cities around the world. “