Maurice Cox and Marc Norman In Conversation on the Future of Detroit

POSTED ON: August 7, 2018

The urban planning work of Maurice Cox, (AR’83), was recently highlighted in a conversation with Marc Norman in an Urban Omnibus post. In 2015 Cox was appointed as Director of the Planning and Development Department for the city of Detroit, tackling the rapidly fluctuating urban and social landscape of the city. Unlike many of his peers in similar positions, Cox’s approach to reimagining the urban fabric of a city whose population has declined by more than half from its peak, has hinged on working closely with the still existing communities of Detroit, and finding the best method of redesigning large areas of underutilized urban land.


  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.