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BMC Brings Local Leaders to Detroit, MI for Chesapeake Connect 2022

BMC Newsroom

BMC Brings Local Leaders to Detroit, MI for Chesapeake Connect 2022

BALTIMORE, MD (Wednesday, July 26, 2022) - The Baltimore Metropolitan Council (BMC) led its annual Chesapeake Connect trip to Detroit, Michigan from Wednesday, July 20 to Friday, July 22, bringing together leaders from across greater Baltimore to connect, reflect and learn from the experiences of a peer region.

Over 60 government, private sector and nonprofit leaders joined BMC in Detroit, with a program focused on unpacking the profound impact of Detroit’s 2013 municipal bankruptcy. Through site visits and discussions with local community leaders, BMC sought to curate an effective exploration of the innovative developments reinvigorating a great American city.

Clockwise from top left: Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, Rock Family of Companies, Marygrove Conservancy, Detroit Riverfront
Clockwise from top left: Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, Rock Family of Companies, Marygrove Conservancy, Detroit Riverfront.

Motor City, as Detroit became known due to its place as a global hub for auto manufacturing, shares many of the challenges facing Charm City, including a declining population, historic under-investment and barriers to building wealth in communities of color. Detroit has bright minds implementing brilliant ideas to counter these challenges, and the Chesapeake Connect trip posed the question: how can we bolster similar ideas in and around Baltimore?

The trip kicked off with a visit to the Union Carpenters and Millwrights Skilled Training Center, where participants heard from Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan about his efforts to guide the city out of bankruptcy. Later that day, a tour of downtown concluded at One Campus Martius, where participants dined with the Rock Family of Companies and learned about their historic corporate and private investment in the city.

On day two, participants got a close-up view of development in Detroit’s neighborhoods, starting with the cradle-to-career campus opening at Marygrove Conservancy. That afternoon, small groups broke out to explore four industry hubs across the city. That evening, participants reconvened for dinner in the enclave of Hamtramck, hearing from Mayor Amer Ghalib and members of what is believed to be the country’s first all-Muslim city council.

For the final day, participants focused on open spaces and public waterfront development, touring the downtown Capitol Park and a five-mile pedestrian stretch of the Detroit Riverfront before a closing lunch at the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Outdoor Adventure Center.

For more details about the trip, see BMC’s Chesapeake Connect 2022 story map or peruse the Chesapeake Connect 2022 Program.

Participants will be invited to join a Chesapeake Re-Connect wrap-up event to encourage a continuing dialogue about the innovations and development strategies observed in Detroit.

Previous Chesapeake Connect trips have brought leaders from the Baltimore region together in Philadelphia, Nashville, New Orleans and Cleveland. BMC has already begun planning the Chesapeake Connect 2023 trip and will announce the destination and dates early next year.

Chesapeake Connect 2022 would not have been possible without the support of sponsors, including Mercy Medical Center, 28 Walker, BGE, Exelon, Hartman Executive Advisors, the Maryland Institute College of Art, Southway Builders, Tradepoint Atlantic, the Baltimore Community Foundation, Design Collective, Loyola University Maryland, Morris & Ritchie Associates, Ballard Spahr, the Baltimore Development Corporation, Chase Brexton Health Care, Gordian Energy Systems, Howard Hughes, Park Heights Renaissance, University of Maryland Baltimore, the University of Maryland Medical System, Web Connection, and the Annie E. Casey Foundation.