(FOX 2) - Detroit's planning director will step down in September.
After five years of service, Maurice Cox informed Mayor Mike Duggan he intends to leave his post later in 2019. Cox is celebrated for "rebuilding the city's planning department from scratch" and attracting talent from around the country to help revitalize the city's neighborhoods.
Hired by Duggan in 2015 from Tulane University, Cox grew the department from six employees to 36 planners.
“Since joining the administration, we’ve come a long way in building the trust of residents through community engagement and smart planning based on that engagement,” said Cox in a statement. “The infrastructure is in place and the work will go forward to ensure the quality of life for the residents of Detroit continues to improve.”
That infrastructure was developed through planning studies that created a roadmap to guide Detroit into the future. Among the 70 neighborhoods cited in those studies, some like Fitzgerald have already seen progress in the form of parks being build on land that used to be vacant.
"Through planning and thoughtful, physical improvements in neighborhoods across the city, Maurice has led the way in improving the walkability and quality of life in our communities," said Mayor Duggan. "He has laid a strong foundation for the City's revitalization. Cities across the country look to Detroit when it comes to urban planning, and we have Maurice to thank for that."
Among other projocts that Cox has been involved in include:
- The city's designation as a UNESCO City of Design
- Making the east riverfront more accessible to residents
- The redesign of Wilson Centennial Park and Detroit's Cultural Center
- Laying the groundwork for the city's $130 million Strategic Neighborhood Fund
Cox plans to announce his next role at a later date.