Detroit’s public lighting system had been in a state of serious disrepair for several decades. The City’s financial distress ruled out any severe reinvestment of the system since its bonds were rated “junk.” In December 2012, the Michigan Legislature approved legislation to allow municipalities to create separate public lighting authorities. With Detroit as a primary focus, this legislation allowed these authorities to raise the necessary funds to rebuild cities’ public street lighting. The Public Lighting Authority of Detroit (PLA) was established shortly after that by a resolution passed by Detroit City Council in February 2013.
As the PLA began to operate, it needed to carry out a comprehensive, integrated communications campaign around two significant, long term efforts. The first effort was to introduce the PLA, explain how it is different from Detroit’s Public Lighting Department, and engage critical audiences around a lighting plan for the future. Following the adoption of this first plan, a second communication strategy needed to notify key audiences of construction and mark the significant moments of the new citywide lighting system.
PUBLIC LIGHTING AUTHORITY OF DETROIT