Urban chief outlines New normal for cities
2/29/2012, 8:09 p.m.
Harvey Hollins III is the director of the Michigan Office of Urban and Metropolitan Initiatives and is a principal adviser to Gov. Rick Snyder on urban economic development. He is a loaned executive through the Council of Michigan Foundations, and his salary is supported by individual foundations through the council.
Michigan Chronicle editorial alliance partner, Bridge magazine reporter Amy Lane, spoke with Hollins in the wake of Snyder’s budget proposal for fiscal 2013 and as a new report, commissioned by statewide CEO group Business Leaders for Michigan and prepared by Public Sector Consultants Inc. and the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program, was to be issued on urban and metropolitan strategies for Michigan.
Q: How do you view the goals and strategies in the report commissioned by Business Leaders for Michigan?
A: Generally speaking, the goals I think are good objectives, but we need to figure out a way as a state to tactically land those in a community.
Q: Can this report provide a blueprint that will be a game-changer for Michigan and its cities and metropolitan areas?
A: I don’t look at this report being the silver bullet report. I think this report, in combination with other efforts in the state, and if we can piece this thing together right, will certainly contribute to a game-changing environment in the state. I think for example, the current initiatives on the ground right now, that are occurring right now in the state, are beneficial. When you add this report to that, I think you can accelerate opportunity. This report helps us to really understand our state much better. It gives us a clear indication where opportunities in terms of sector might lie, and it helps us to bring focus on strategic initiatives that will address those sectors, for example, like advanced manufacturing.
Q: What initiatives are your top priority? What are you working on right now?