Community development is just as much an art as it is a science. Few people understand how to foster community engagement and participation in Detroit as well as our advisor, Virginia Stanard.
We invited Virginia to share strategies she's developed through her work with the Detroit Collaborative Design Center at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture. Virginia stressed the importance of celebrating a community's (hidden) assets, bringing a variety of stakeholders to the table, and making their participation meaningful.
We also learned some new terminology — ie. mosaics vs. tapestries, building trust vs. consensus, stitching, and our favorite, plug & pile.