The Office of Economic Development helps make the Wayne State campus and all of Midtown vibrant and safe for students, staff, residents, businesses and visitors.
Vibrant public places help build a stronger campus, neighborhood and city. Placemaking is a core component of Wayne State's effort to create a 24-hour-campus and foster connections within the campus community and with our neighbors. Previous placemaking projects include the 2015 and 2016 Walk [Wayne State] campaigns designed to encourage people to explore nearby destinations; partnering with the DIA Inside|Out program to place reproductions of the DIA's collection at sites across campus; and placing flexible public seating throughout campus to offer people a place to relax, study and socialize.
Woodward | Warren Park
We transformed an underused greenspace into an inviting park, where students and employees, area residents and visitors can relax and recreate. Improvements to Woodward | Warren Park include native landscaping, a seating area with bistro sets and shade umbrellas, a custom shipping container welcome center, bike racks, a large mural, solar panels and string lights. We held a grand opening on Wednesday, June 5, 2019 and partnered with the Detroit Experience Factory (DXF) to program the park six days a week through October 30, 2019. We are now seeking funding and ideas for 2020 park programming.
Transportation & Mobility
We work to create a multi-modal campus and neighborhood. We helped bring Zipcar to Detroit and Detroit Bike Share (MoGo) started in our office. We were key partners in M-1 Rail (QLINE streetcar) and the Midtown Greenway. In 2018, we created a campus launched WayneRides, with the goal of increasing Warrior knowledge and use of local transportation and mobility options. WayneRides programming is coordinated by student Transportation Ambassadors, in partnership with the Dean of Students Office and Parking and Transportation, and includes providing FREE 31-day Dart passes to Wayne State students via The W Food Pantry.
Housing & Neighborhood Development
We work with numerous partners within and outside Wayne State to attract and retain new residents, and to ensure that the university's real estate development strengthens the neighborhood. We were a partner in the Live Midtown initiative, which attracted and retained more than 1,600 residents in the neighborhood between 2011-15. We are also partnering with several university departments and a private developer on The Vernor at Cass & Canfield, a nine-story, mixed-use development that will include apartments, retail shops, and a hotel/conference center in the South University Village District.
We support the work of the Wayne State University Police Department to drastically reduce crime rates in the neighborhood. As a result of Wayne State's collaborative approach to public safety, which utilizes the CompStat policing model, Midtown has experienced a 59% drop in crime since 2009. Today, Midtown is one of the safest neighborhoods in the city, safer than many suburban areas. Key partners in Wayne State's pioneering public safety efforts include the Center for Urban Studies and the Americorps Urban Safety Program. Read more about WSUPD's role in revitalizing Midtown in the New York Times.