Funders’ Forum for Sustainable Cities Study Visit “Industrial cities adjusting to the New Economy”

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

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The City of Flint is well known for many reasons. Home to much of the automobile industry in the US during the early 18th & 19th century, Flint enjoyed an economic boom with extraordinary prosperity. However Flint has also suffered a well-documented downturn with effects on the health service, education, land use and more. This is not an uncommon story in the Global North with many cities struggling to adjust to globalisation and the new economy. There are many lessons that all cities can learn from Flint both in trying to avoid its demise and the initiatives that are revitalising the city. These principles can be applied globally. 

This workshop will delve deep into the issues facing cities globally, both the positive initiatives happening throughout the community and the issues that are more challenging to resolve. Opening with a broad overview of economic collapse and its effect on the city, participants will spend most of their time on sites learning about the initiatives making Flint a more inclusive, safe, sustainable city. Topics covered will include: disinvestment, the water crisis, decline in government services and expectations/realities for funders, redevelopment of commercial corridors, neighbourhoods and residential areas, arts as revitalization tools, poverty and community engagement, and creative financing and partnerships.

Shuttles will be arranged between Detroit International Airport and the city of Flint.

Confirmed speakers include:

Dan Kildee, Congressman, US House of Representatives
Don Chen, Director of Just Cities and Regions, Ford Foundation
Jon Henry, Executive Director, Flint Institute of Arts
David Ollila, Vice President of Innovation, Skypoint Ventures LLC

The event is part of EFC’s commitment to improving peer-learning and collaboration among its members. For more information on the EFC’s seven key priorities, please download the EFC Strategic Framework 2016-2022.

For more information please contact Jennifer Fitzsimons 

Photo (c) By Flintmichigan [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons



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European Foundation Centre


Charles Stewart Mott Foundation
503 S. Saginaw St., Flint, MI 48502-1851 United States
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