Archives for September 2016



All across America there is a revival of urban cities.  There a vibrancy that reverberates from the commercial corridors of the Midtown and downtown areas in cities like Detroit.  Once you get a mile or two away from the main corridor, the energy,opportunities, business density and access to capital dissipates. Can the city of Detroit expand economically and battle gentrification at the same time?  How can we ensure there is equitable development in neighborhoods with underserved commercial corridors, disconnected business owners and existing residences.  We believe it is possible.
Detroit’s future requires connecting the worlds of design,  

technology and innovation to neighborhoods.”

– Hajj Flemings Founder of Rebrand Detroit

Rebrand Detroit,  a civic design and brand project that is led by Brand Camp University, is looking to tackle this difficult problem.  The Knight Foundation launched the #KnightCities Challenge in 2015 and Hajj Flemings, Founder of Brand Camp University, was selected as 1 of 32 winners out of a pool of over 7,000 applicants to launch this big idea.  It is a multi-disciplinary collaboration with the residents, community stakeholders, and local government.

Why is Rebrand Detroit important to the future of city of Detroit?  We believe creative placemaking can’t be limited to one segment of the city but that every neighborhood could benefit if design, technology and innovation were integrated to the DNA of Detroit neighborhoods.  This initiative will help brand the great things that are already happening in neighborhoods.

The Four Elements of Rebrand Detroit

To help carry out the mission of Rebrand Detroit we have developed four basic elements of this project called SEEE.

  • Storytelling – Share stories of the neighborhood and its businesses, including their progress during Rebrand Detroit.
  • Experience – Creating a visual brand experience inside neighborhood commercial corridors.
  • Education – Provide brand training and education to neighborhood business owners, assisting with the execution phase. .
  • Engagement – Community engagement with residents and the business community

Can rebrand Detroit be a catalyst for the city of Detroit?  Can we help change the narrative of Detroit and help drive the economic development of Detroit into neighborhoods?  We know these ideas only work if residences and business owners have a say. This idea involves the residents, community stakeholders and local government.  Once proven that this idea can work in one neighborhood, it can be scaled for other Detroit neighborhoods and other cities around the world.

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