About Detroit143

Detroit143 is an online resource that reports on community efforts to rebuild the city, focused initially on the Southwest portion of City Council District 6. About 40 percent of the district`s approximately 100,000 people live in Southwest. We`ll gradually expand our coverage to all of District 6. Eventually, we hope to serve each of the city`s seven districts.

Screengrab: DataDrivenDetroit May 10, 2014

Screengrab: Data Driven Detroit; May 10, 2014 Click image for demographic details of new City Council districts

Detroit143 zeros in on key numbers and statistics in pursuit of more rigorous assessments of the rebuilding, a process that will likely stretch on for decades.

Detroit143 has been funded by a $50,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and a $100,000 grant from the Kresge Foundation.

The site relies on such tools as Twitter, Instagram (hashtags #trueSWdetroit and #atcafeconleche), Facebook, SeeClickFix and Fliptuto enlist residents in documenting neighborhood needs and achievements. Detroit143 is especially committed to exploring how residents can collaborate more effectively with one another and with local officials and agencies in pursuit of a more livable city. We`ll also spotlight untold stories of the neighborhoods and their residents, always inviting story-telling by the community as well as about it.

We take part of our inspiration for Detroit143 from Kim Hunter, a Southwest Detroit poet.

Discussing his work toward the end of this brief video, he says: "It`s a skeleton upon which people have to put their own meat. It`s the blueprint upon which people have to build their own building."

Examples of the sort of questions we plan to address:

  • What does it take for a resident upset about illegal dumping in the vacant lot next door to get the city to haul the trash away in a reasonable time frame? What are best practices for residents and officials in reducing such dumping going forward?
  • How can residents whose street lacks working streetlights learn when their neighborhood will be illuminated again?
  • How can residents get straight answers about when abandoned, dangerous buildings will be demolished?
  • Where does someone with an idea for a new business go for help in getting started?

In addition to original reporting that addresses topics like dumping, streetlights and abandoned houses, Detroit143 aggregates a variety of coverage done by others that is useful to Detroiters. We pay special attention to Southwest Detroit in our aggregation but also highlight reporting that`s relevant across the city`s 143 square miles and land and water.

After coming up with theDetroit143 name, by the way, we learned what 143 means in pager code. That fits our perspective on Detroit just fine.

We launched the first version of Detroit143 in 2102 with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The Kresge Foundation is paying for the current initiative. Longer term, we anticipate sustaining our journalism with revenue generated by the Detroit143 Agency, a program you can read about here.

We are currently members of the Bamboo Detroit co-working space on Brush Street near Harmonie Park.

Detroit143 was co-founded by Kirk Cheyfitz, Bill Mitchell, Shirley Stancato and is directed by Nichole Christian. You can read about the entire team here.

You can read more about Southwest Detroit in this detailed analysis of its population and economic trends compiled by Data Driven Detroit.

SeeClickFix Southwest: Report & track problems 'til fixed!

True Southwest: Add your photos!

Post a photo to Instagram or Twitter with the #trueSWdetroit hashtag and it will appear here.

instagram ad