The DCDC uses a nationally recognized Neighborhood Engagement Workshop (NEW) process that was the subject of an international documentary, Detroit Collaborative Design Center ...amplifying the diminished voice. The NEW process empowers neighborhood residents to renew their communities through collaboration and coalition building. Workshops bring a mix of stakeholders including community residents, youth, business owners, local government representatives, etc. to the same table to discuss neighborhood assets and needs. These diverse stakeholders often bring separate goals to the table, but through the workshop process they achieve a common strategic vision that positively impacts each individual goal.

The NEW process provides stakeholders with the tools they need to implement projects.

Approximately twenty to thirty people attend each workshop. Each participant is asked to gather input from the larger community and to spread the capacity gained during the workshops to the community. The process also includes larger community engagement strategies such as community surveys, comment boxes, public events, etc. to gain input and feedback on the design. Relationships developed during the process lead to funding for identified projects, nurturing of community advocates, and the formation of neighborhood community development corporations. The NEW process provides stakeholders with the tools they need to implement projects. Some workshop activities focus on project phasing, cost estimates, implementation plans, human resources and potential funding sources necessary to develop the project. While other organizations require the stakeholder to participate before, during, and after the planning process, the DCDC's model is innovative in that it guides participants in actualizing their own creativity to solve problems.