Ford, the City of Detroit and PlanetM have launched the City:One Michigan Central Station Challenge , a co-creation and crowdsourcing program for residents, businesses and community groups to propose and pilot solutions that improve mobility in the neighborhoods surrounding the historic train station.
The community engagement program is designed as a collaborative process, offering local residents the opportunity to share their experiences and suggest ideas for how to solve their most pressing mobility problems.
Solutions chosen for pilot tests will be supported with $250,000, while an additional $78,000 in stipends is available to support 12 finalists as they tailor their ideas and develop full pilot proposals. In addition to funding from Ford and PlanetM, further support for the program will be contributed from sponsors AT&T, Dell Technologies, and Microsoft.”
“As the city that put the world on wheels, innovation is in the DNA of all Detroiters. I’m certain that the City:One Challenge collaboration between Ford and the residents around Michigan Central Station will result in a number of unique ideas that will make it easier, safer, and more affordable to get around the area,” said Mark de la Vergne, Chief of Mobility Innovation for the City of Detroit.
The goal of the Challenge is to help improve the quality of life for people living, working and visiting the community surrounding Michigan Central Station through the development of mobility solutions that complement existing transportation services.
“We have an opportunity, and a responsibility, to advance our state’s technology and automotive landscape in a way that also makes communities safer, greener and more productive,” said Michigan Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist. “Today’s announcement of the City:One Michigan Central Station Challenge, reconfirms Michigan’s commitment to maintaining our edge in mobility, while improving the lives and safety of residents here in Detroit, and across the state.”
The City:One Challenge will also support and inform the broader transportation planning efforts currently under the Greater Corktown Neighborhood Framework Plan, as well as the Michigan Department of Transportation’s Planning and Environmental Linkages Study for Michigan Avenue.
“Ensuring that inclusive and accessible transportation options exist for the people in our community remains a vital priority, and it starts with identifying solutions to today’s most crucial mobility challenges,” said Trevor Pawl, senior vice president of Business Innovation at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “The City:One Michigan Central Station Challenge combines Michigan’s opportunistic approach to the advancement of new mobility technology with our commitment to improving the quality of life for individuals, by directly engaging with those most impacted in the community.”
During the Challenge, participants will investigate potential methods that help residents overcome barriers to transportation, make biking and walking more inviting, and help residents move to and from the neighborhoods around the train station to destinations throughout Detroit. Additionally, the Challenge will explore how to bring important daily services to residents, especially those who may not have easy access to transportation.
Throughout the eight-month program, the Challenge will invite residents, community organizations and businesses to explore dynamic mobility options focused around their top needs. Ford, PlanetM and program sponsors will assist with the community collaboration process.
“We strongly believe that the residents and business owners in the neighborhoods surrounding Michigan Central Station are critical partners in ensuring the community can meet the needs of all its residents,” said Aniela Kuzon, global lead, Ford City:One Innovation “That’s why we’re directly involving the community in our City:One Challenge. Improving mobility for current and future residents will be crucial to preserving the unique fabric of the entire community.”
Ford launched its City:Challenge platform in 2018 with Pittsburgh, Miami-Dade County and Grand Rapids, Mich. The three challenges resulted in pilots addressing issues ranging from long, inefficient student pickup lines at schools to safer transportation methods for night shift workers who must travel during non-traditional hours. In addition to the City:One Michigan Central Station Challenge, Ford has launched a challenge in Indianapolis and Mexico City with more cities to come.