World Economic Forum plans Detroit urban innovation center with Bedrock

The World Economic Forum announced plans Thursday to establish a Centre for Urban Transformation in Detroit, with plans for it to eventually be located within the Bedrock-owned site of the failed Wayne County jail project.

The international non-governmental organization said the center is expected to open in October with support from Bedrock. WEF’s Detroit center — its first Midwest office location — will be a hub for public-private collaborations to create a more sustainable model for urban development, the organization said.

Jeff Merritt, head of urban transformation for the World Economic Forum

“Detroit is uniquely positioned to serve as the epicenter for this work — a hub for urban transformation and innovation that the world can look to for guidance and inspiration,” said Jeff Merritt, WEF’s head of urban transformation, in a statement.

Bolstering local communities, supporting economic opportunity and bettering urban services like transportation are all among the center’s research goals.

The center will work in collaboration with WEF’s offices in Beijing, Geneva, Mumbai, New York, San Francisco and Tokyo. WEF leaders say the organization will be able to leverage international resources and connections to make strides in urban development at the Detroit space.

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