Mayor Mike Duggan has announced Maurice Cox as Detroit’s new Planning Director.
Cox comes to Detroit from Tulane City Center, where he was director, and Tulane University School of Architecture, where he served as associate dean for Community Engagement.
A New York City native, Cox received his bachelor’s in architecture from Cooper Union School of Architecture and was awarded the Loeb Fellowship at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. He taught for Syracuse University’s Architecture Program in Florence Italy, where he also practiced architecture for 10 years. Cox holds an honorary degree from the University of Detroit – Mercy.
Cox was named one of America’s “20 Masters of Design” by Fast Company.
As design director of the National Endowment for the Arts, Cox headed the selection of NEA design grants and leadership programs like the Mayor’s Institute on City Design, which helps prepare mayors to fill the role of chief urban designers for their cities. From 2002-2004, he served as mayor of Charlottesville, Virginia.
Mayor Duggan has submitted Cox’s name to City Council for consideration.
“We continue to build an administration that represents a mix of the best talent from Detroit and around the country,” Mayor Duggan said. “Adding a Planning Director the caliber of Maurice Cox will strengthen our efforts to improve all of Detroit’s neighborhoods.”
Mayor Duggan has indicated that Cox should focus his design experience to strengthen existing neighborhoods and reuse vacant areas of the city.
Cox thanked Mayor Duggan for this unique opportunity and said he hopes to incorporate new ideas into the city’s uniqueness.
“Detroit has a once in a lifetime opportunity to re-imagine the American city, transforming an abundance of land into a valuable community asset. We can take advantage of Detroit’s many historic neighborhoods to create new urban housing anchored by revitalized commercial corridors, parks and greenways, all working together to enhance the quality of life in this city for everyone,” Cox said. “Detroit is well positioned to be the place where urban innovation and economic opportunity intersect, creating a new kind of sustainable city–one that is equitable, just and simply more beautiful.”
With approval from City Council, Cox will start his new role immediately on a part-time basis until May, when he completes his final semester at Tulane.